It wasn't the big call-up, the first call-up, that players always remember, but this one was pretty memorable for Fernando Rodriguez, who will try to help stabilize an ailing Astros bullpen. He sort of felt it coming.
"It's kind of weird, but I had kind of had a premonition," said Rodriguez, who got the news from Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco while shopping at a mall for his wife's birthday present. "I don't want to sound cocky, but it's one of those things."
It marks a fresh beginning for the El Paso, Texas native, whom the Astros signed to a free agent deal this offseason after he spent his whole career in the Angels organization. He had 29 strikeouts and a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings at Triple-A when he was called up, replacing Fernando Abad, who was sent down to address his control problems.
Manager Brad Mills said Rodriguez won't be rushed into high-leverage situations. He has just one game of major league experience back in 2009 with the Angels and was not used in the Astros' 5-1 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday night.
"We haven't seen him since spring training, and the reports were very good from Oklahoma City that he was throwing the ball very well and getting everything over for strikes," Mills said. "We'll just kind of see how it goes and try to get him into some games."
Any way it comes, Rodriguez was all smiles, and while he felt the promotion coming, it still hit him hard.
"It was a shock," he said. "My legs started getting Jello-y."
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