After about a three-week suspensive trip circulating around the second base position for the Atlanta Braves, the organization finally made the move to call up Tommy La Stella to the major league level. Tommy wore the #7 jersey Wednesday in a cold, damp night.
“I got the call around 10:30am this morning, I wasn’t really expecting it,” La Stella said. “I got called into the managers hotel room and he told me I was going down the road (to Fenway Park).”
Almost an hour after it was announced to the Braves Nation that La Stella would be called up, the lineup was released with La Stella penciled in to start at second.
“It hasn’t really set in yet, it’s kind of been a world wind these past few hours…I was in Pawtucket, then here and then made all the phone calls…It’s been overwhelming and emotional but this is the greatest day of my career,” Tommy said.
La Stella came out of the gate swinging as he went 2-4 on Wednesday and made some great plays at second base. The Red Sox looked like they were trying to break him in and continued going after the 25-year-old.
“This is a great opportunity, there is no expectations, just go out and have fun,” Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “You don’t have to do anything but go out and play baseball and let the other guys carry the club.”
Atlanta fans are thinking this guy will be the life saver we’ve all been looking for this season…or at least someone to get on base and get a few hits now-and-then.
“Hopefully I can do whatever is asked of me to help win…move a guy over, bunt a guy over, drive in a run, be on base…the little things that hopefully at the end of the day will get us a W.”
In baseball, with an addition, there must be a subtraction to the 25-man roster….leading me to Tyler Pastornicky. He goes back down to Triple-A Gwinnett after having the slash line of .200/.317/.257 and only one extra base hit.
“It’s a bitter-sweet day, you tell one guy he’s got to go down to Triple-A and then the other guy comes in 10 minutes later and you’re excited for him. Tommy’s done a really good job in Triple-A, he gets on base,” Fredi said.
Tommy’s first game as a major league player is at the famed ballpark of Fenway. A great place to get his start to a young and hopefully prospering career.
“I grew up in New Jersey and watched a lot of Yankee, Red Sox games….you can just feel the history and I couldn’t think of a better place to make my debut,” La Stella said. “To be out there in that environment and that atmosphere is a dream come true.”
When he was asked prior to the game what he is going to do differently now that he’s at this level his response was….
“Nothing, everyone has just told me to go out and play my game…that is what got me here and I’m not going to change a thing…and that’s what I intend to do. I’m not going to try anything I’m not capable of or change the way I play.”
With a fine performance at the plate and on the field, Tommy was a bright spot in a dark night of baseball for the Braves.
“Tommy was great, got a couple hits and did exactly what we expected him to. You couldn’t ask for much more out of him especially for his first game being here in Boston so I can’t complain,” Fredi said after the game.