Eddy's ready: Padres call up catcher to fill in

CINCINNATI -- The Class A Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres' affiliate in the California League, had the day off on Monday, which afforded catcher Eddy Rodriguez some down time.

Rodriguez spent part of the night watching the Padres' game against the Reds on television and saw the play in the second inning when San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal strained his right oblique muscle on a swing.

A few hours later, Rodriguez's phone rang with the word that he was to fly to Cincinnati on Tuesday to join the team.

"It was an interesting call, but probably one of the best of my life," Rodriguez said. "Since then, it's been a crazy ride."

Rodriguez, 26, arrived before Tuesday's game as a replacement on the roster for Grandal, who he said is a good friend and like him, a former catcher for the University of Miami.

Rodriguez was beaming as he stood in front of his locker. It's been a long climb for a player who was first drafted by the Reds in 2005 and began his professional career in '06 -- a career that included stops with independent league teams before he signed with the Padres as a Minor League free agent prior to 2011.

"Baseball has its way of working things out," Rodriguez said, smiling.

Rodriguez was hitting .223 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs with the Storm. Nick Hundley, who is on the disabled list with Triple-A Tucson nursing a hamstring injury, would have likely been the choice to join the Padres on Tuesday, but he's not quite game-ready.

When Hundley is ready, he'll likely rejoin the team. The Padres could have promoted Jason Hagerty from Double-A San Antonio and put him on the 40-man roster, but then when Hundley is ready to join the team, the Padres would have had to expose him to a waiver claim.

"Eddy's a guy who can catch and throw, and he showed well in Major League camp [in Spring Training]," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He was exposed to our coaches and to our pitching staff."

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