It's been seven long seasons of toiling in the San Diego Padres minor league system, but Cody Decker is finally getting called up to join the big league club.
The announcement came after the Friars' deflating loss in San Francisco, topping off a sweep at the hands of the Giants. The Padres were outscored 27-4, almost no-hit, and by the end of it we were all ready to say goodbye to AT&T Park until 2016.
It also came after the finale of the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas' 2015 playoff run. After taking the regular season southern division title in the Pacific Coast League, the Chihuahuas lost the first two games in a best-of-5 series against the Fresno Grizzlies. They won game 3 to stay alive, but last night's loss to Fresno ended their postseason and, until today's announcement, Decker's time in the Padres organization.
Decker, who was drafted out of UCLA by the Padres in 2009, is set to become a six-year minor league free agent this offseason and had seemingly given up hopes of getting called up to the show before then. Last night he expressed his gratitude for the past six years in an emotional series of tweets.
PART 1: I want to take a moment to say thank you. I don't know where my career will go. But, El Paso, thank you for these last 2 years.— Cody Decker (@Decker6) September 13, 2015
PART 2: these last 2 years were incredible playing in front of the best fans/people I will ever get the opportunity to play for...— Cody Decker (@Decker6) September 13, 2015
PART 3: I want to thank the @epchihuahuas for everything you've done for me and my family. It was BEYOND special.— Cody Decker (@Decker6) September 13, 2015
PART 4: @Padres. These 7 seasons, you gave me a chance to play professional baseball. Thank you from the bottom of my black heart!— Cody Decker (@Decker6) September 13, 2015
Turns out he jumped the gun on the goodbye.
Well.... Slight change of plans....— Cody Decker (@Decker6) September 13, 2015
Ive waited my entire life today this...... "I AM A BIG LEAGUER!" Thank you to everyone who has ever supported me! https://t.co/whBsMkz0cP— Cody Decker (@Decker6) September 13, 2015
For many Padres fans, this call-up feels a little more significant than others. People have been clamoring for Decker to get a shot in the majors for years, but every time we thought it might happen, the Padres would call up one of his teammates instead. But now, with the expanded September roster and the Marlins claiming Tommy Medica off waivers last week, the Padres had an open spot on the 40-man roster. And finally, that open spot will be filled by Decker. It's a long time coming, but much awaited and well-deserved.
Decker hit .252 in 120 games in El Paso this season. He spent most of his time at first base, but made a good amount of appearances at third base. He also caught two games, and played left field and pitched in another game. With Yonder Alonso likely out for the season, Decker will probably get some time at first, as well as be a nice added bat off the bench.
Decker will join the Padres in Arizona tomorrow for their next series against the Diamondbacks. I'm looking forward to seeing him in a Padres uniform outside of Spring Training. I only wish he had been called up BEFORE the trip to San Francisco, because I think he'd look outstanding as a rookie prisoner.