The move from double-A to facing the defending World Series champions is about as big of a jump - or more like leaping bound - that a baseball player will reasonably make.
That’s exactly what Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas have been asked to do over the weekend with the Boston Red Sox in town.
And their manager said they’ve handled it as well as one can expect.
“They’re not scared. I know those two kids very well and I know they’re not scared,” manager Ron Washington said. “And since they’re not scared, I’m not afraid either.”
Odor and Sardinas are not strangers to the Major League Baseball environment, as both were in Big League camp in the spring. But Washington said he’s known what kind of players the two 20-year-old middle infielders are for quite some time.
“Even before they were in Big League camp I would bring them over. Yeah, they’re young, and they don’t have a lot of experience. But I know what’s in their heart and how much desire they have,” he said.
For Sardinas, it’s the second stint in the majors this year. He made his major league debut on April 20 against the White Sox at Globe Life Park.
“It’s still the same emotion of being called up. I went back down and worked hard to get back here,” Sardinas said. “I have my opportunity now and I want to take it.”
Sardinas’s April call-up came in the wake of Jim Adduci’s trip to the disabled list. And while the call-up of Sardinas once again comes after an injury (Donnie Murphy to the 15-day DL), it may be more of a long-term solution if he plays well.
“I don’t know if it’s permanent,” he said. “It’s about the team. They need me here, and I’m here. I’m having fun and I’m working hard too.”
What he does know is that it’s good to have long-time comrade Odor by his side for this trip to the Bigs. Sardinas and Odor have played together for three years in the minor leagues.
“He has been my partner. I’m excited for him,” Sardinas said.
While Odor said that “it’s the same baseball” as in the minor leagues, he acknowledged that Major League Baseball has been more fast-paced than his experience on the farm. The pace of the game hasn’t flustered the youngster, though. He recorded a pinch hit in Saturday’s game against Boston.
“He stepped up in the box like he’d been there before,” Washington said. “He didn’t care [about the pressure], he looked as relaxed as he could be. He was looking for a pitch he could do something with and he did.”
The plan for the two prospects, according to Wash, is simple.
“We’ll put up with the little kinks that they have and get the best out of them that we can get,” he said in his typical that’s-the-way-baseball-go demeanor.
The two are a combined 4-for-17 since their promotion last Thursday.