Long road to posteason
Cards rookie shares thoughts on breakthrough season
Rookie outfielder John Rodriguez wasn't even in the Cardinals organization until midseason, and even after a trade to St. Louis, he wasn't on the 40-man roster. Yet an amazing month at Triple-A Memphis, combined with injuries on St. Louis' big league squad, led to an opportunity for Rodriguez to play in the Majors for the first time. Rodriguez will be checking in with MLB.com throughout the playoffs to share his experiences with readers in his first taste of the Major League postseason.
In the first installment, Rodriguez introduces himself to readers, giving an idea of just how far he's come this year. Monday was a workout day for the Cardinals, with the Division Series against San Diego starting on Tuesday.
When I signed with Cleveland during the offseason, I was excited. They told me I had a chance to break camp with them. I did what I had to do during Spring Training, and they sent me down in the last week. It was heartbreaking, but it was another experience that I had to go through -- another path that God was putting me through. It was just a test to see if I could actually handle that situation.
I went to (Triple-A) Buffalo, and did what I had to do there, but I didn't really play that well because I had other things on my mind. It was tough, but God said, "You're not supposed to be here. One way or the other, something will happen." I thank God I got traded. That one month that I played in Memphis, I don't know if anybody has done that.
And then the callup, I wasn't expecting that either. I was new to the team, and you really don't know what to expect. I was in the Minor Leagues for eight years, seven of them in the Yankees system. I didn't get a chance there, and I started to think, "Maybe I might just be a Minor League player all my life." But I never gave up. I never gave up hope.
Getting the call, I was crying like a little baby. It was probably the happiest moment of my life. I got here and everybody welcomed me with open arms. I had a good start and a good finish. Hitting .295 isn't bad for a rookie. I helped the team, which is the most important thing. It was never a selfish thing. I wanted to do my job. I knew I wanted to help the team.
Now it's postseason time, and wow. Wow. We'll go Day 2 tomorrow.
John Rodriguez's diary appears as told to MLB.com reporter Matthew Leach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.