WASHINGTON (AP) — The Colorado Rockies called up Stephen Cardullo from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday, the first time the 28-year-old infielder-outfielder has been on an active major league roster.
Hours after his promotion, Cardullo was batting second and playing first base against the Washington Nationals.
Cardullo hit .308 with 17 home runs and 72 RBIs in 115 games for the Isotopes this season. Prior to that, he spent four years in independent ball and was the MVP of the Canadian-American Association in 2015.
“Anyone playing baseball, whether it’s independent ball or still in the minors, you have that dream,” Cardullo said.
Cardullo played in 2012 in the Frontier League for the Canadian-based London Rippers, a team that folded midseason.
“You have that hope inside your heart that you can make it to the major leagues. I think that’s what everyone feels. I was just lucky enough to be given the opportunity and I’m very fortunate.”
Cardullo played collegiately as a walk-on at Florida State University. He was selected by Arizona in the 24th round of the 2010 draft and released after two seasons of rookie ball.
“It’s a great story of perseverance, and overcoming the odds,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
“He’s earned it. I told him when he came into my office that nothing is ever given to you, that you have to earn everything to get here and he’s done that and then some. He’s gone above and beyond in that department.”
Triple-A manager Glenallen Hill informed Cardullo of his move at an Albuquerque team meeting at which point his Isotopes teammates mobbed him. The congratulatory wishes have continued since joining the Rockies in Washington.
“It’s his first day in the big leagues and I’m sure he’s already earned a lot of respect from his teammates,” Weiss said. “Everyone in that room knows how difficult it is to get here and you multiply by about 10 when you think of his story.”
The Rockies optioned infielder Ben Paulsen to Triple-A and transferred right-hander Scott Oberg to the 60-day disabled list.
Paulsen hit .115 (3 for 26) with one RBI and one walk in 10 games since being recalled from Albuquerque on Aug. 12.