Eddy Rodriguez revels in week to remember

SAN DIEGO — On Monday, Eddy Rodriguez was reeling in about a dozen bass while fishing in a kayak on Lake Elsinore.

On Tuesday, the 26-year-old catcher was headed to Cincinnati — yes, straight from the Single-A California League — and on Friday he was standing in front of his new locker at Petco Park, a little more than an hour's drive from where Rodriguez started a whirlwind week he won't soon forget.

"This game is weird, and it works in weird ways," Rodriguez said. "That's what makes it a beautiful game. That's what makes it a romantic's game. It's so crazy. I was in high A four days ago. I'm an hour away from there now, but I'm in the major leagues.

"You never know what to expect."

Rodriguez, of course, has plenty to romanticize about his jump from the Storm to the Padres this week, which began when the catcher replaced fellow University of Miami alum Yasmani Grandal on the Padres' roster against the very Reds team that released him in 2008. Two days later, Rodriguez homered in his first major league at-bat off Johnny Cueto, whom he'd come up alongside in the Reds' organization before spending two years in independent leagues.
The Padres signed Rodriguez to a minor league contract last year and assigned him to Lake Elsinore this year, where he was hitting .233 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs when he was suddenly called up to replace Grandal.

"Just getting the news was huge for me," said Rodriguez, just the second Padre to homer in his first major league at-bat. "It was a dream come true. It was a long road to get here, and to get the opportunity to play, getting on the field was the relaxing part.

"I just wanted to get out there, see the field, get acquainted with everything and catch. As soon as I got a mitt in my hand, I was at a little more peace."

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