The Giants weren’t done rewarding longtime minor leaguers.
Enderson Franco officially got the call-up Sunday, a day after Mike Gerber and Cristhian Adames arrived in the majors. They all were told together after Triple-A Sacramento’s championship in Texas on Friday.
The Giants moved Tony Watson to the 60-day injured list to clear room for Franco, who began his professional journey in the Astros’ system in 2010. By 2014 he was with Tampa, 2015 with Miami and 2016 with Atlanta.
The Giants signed the starter this offseason, but he did not impress in the River Cats’ rotation. They recently converted him to a reliever, and he closed out the last few games for Sacramento, throwing five innings and allowing one run.
Ten minor seasons — and 969 1/3 innings pitched — later, the 26-year-old finally has made it.
Franco was called into Sacramento manager Dave Brundage’s office and was told, “You’re not going to Memphis,” he said. “I go, ‘What?’
“They said, ‘You’re going to the big leagues.’
“First thing I do is I go outside and call my dad and mom [in Venezuela]. I say, ‘Hey, Dad, you know what?’ ‘What?’
“‘I’m going to the big leagues.’ And then he cried. My mom, also. And then I also called my wife. She was very excited and cried also.”
Was he crying?
“Of course,” he told KNBR. “It’s a special moment.”
Franco had just won the PCL title with Sacramento, the first championship of any kind in his professional career.
“I’ll never forget that day,” said Franco, who isn’t sure whether starting or relieving is in his future. “Championship, celebration and then clubhouse. I’ll never forget Sept. 13.”