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Behind Jason Vosler’s whirlwind MLB debut, which was rushed until it wasn’t


Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports


Jason Vosler had waited his life for this moment. And now that it had arrived, there was barely enough time to share it.

Gabe Kapler called him about 3 p.m., three hours ahead of game time Saturday. He was in San Francisco, in the de facto taxi squad, and he rushed to his new workplace. He had time for three calls: his mother, Susan; father, Bob; and his girlfriend, Courtney Pfeiffer.

“Hey, I can’t talk,” he told all three. “But I’m going to the big leagues right now.”

Vosler was the third Giants prospect to make his debut this year, an older one at 27 who had been awaiting that call through 630 minor league games and untold alternate site at-bats. He never got it with the Cubs, where the corner infielder was blocked, and it didn’t come with the Padres, who had Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado at the corners. The Giants have been diversifying him into a utility man, but if he is needed defensively it likely will come at third, with Evan Longoria missing time with a hamstring injury.

And so once he got to the ballpark — Jarlin Garcia’s left groin strain created the room — he rushed to third base.

“[Ron] Wotus was like, ‘We got five minutes. Want to take some ground balls?’ I was like, ‘Yep, let’s go,'” Vosler said.

He barely had time to see a ballpark that he only had been to twice before. Vosler, who grew up in New Jersey, had not stepped foot in Oracle Park until he went through the medical testing when he signed his contract in November, then saw it again as part of the taxi squad before the last road trip.

It was all a rush until he allowed himself a breath. Kevin Gausman and Pablo Lopez dueled into the late innings, and Gausman’s turn in the lineup arrived in the eighth of a 1-1 game. Kapler, with a short bench, turned to the lefty Vosler against righty Dylan Floro.

“When I walked out there, I kind of think I sped everything up a little bit at first, and then their pitching coach went out and talked to their pitcher, and that helped me a lot and really relaxed me,” said the Northeastern product. “…The nerves weren’t as bad as I anticipated them to be, and I was able to get a look around the stadium right as I stepped up to the plate — which was cool that I remembered to do that in that moment.”

The Hollywood script would not quite be completed, with Vosler fouling out. But his parents in the Northeast, up past their bedtime at about 11:30 p.m. on the East Coast for the at-bat, saw his dream come true.

“They’ve been waiting a long time for this as well,” Vosler said.

And then they went to bed because they were hopping on a plane early to be at Sunday’s game. Vosler was out of the starting lineup, but it would be a surprise if he didn’t find his way into a depleted Giants lineup. The major league player, for the first time in his life, should not be quite as rushed a day later.

 

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