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Almonte back in bigs after eight-year wait

The Sports Xchange
 
Almonte back in bigs after eight-year wait · Notes, Quotes · Roster Report
 

The best story on the Brewers' opening 25-man roster is infielder/outfielder Erick Almonte.

The 33-year-old journeyman made the club as a non-roster player by batting .416 with three homers and 13 RBI.

Almonte hadn't played in the majors since 2003, when he took over for injured Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

He couldn't help calling back home to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to give the exciting news to his family. His 6-year-old son, Erick Jr., was particularly excited.

"He was asking a lot of stuff," Almonte said. "He thought I was going to (Class AAA) Nashville. "With everything I went through, I wanted to be able to tell everybody. I knew I had a good spring."

Almonte referred to past destinations such as Japan and Long Island of the independent Atlantic League, where he went to keep alive his career. He put himself in position for a spring invite by batting .320 at Nashville last season, and after getting the news, he immediately went to the minor league camp to thank Sounds manager Don Money and the coaches there.

"I knew they put up good reports on me," Almonte said. "They're probably the reason why I made it. They told me to do what you did the last two years and you might open their eyes. You've got to know where you come from.

"It's been eight years (since last playing in the majors). Sometimes you question yourself. I got offers to play in Mexico. Something in the back of my mind told me to keep fighting and never quit. Now, I'm here."

Almonte popped out as a pinch hitter in the Brewers' season-opening, 7-6 loss to the Reds.

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