SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -Rico Washington celebrated making the St. Louis Cardinals opening-day roster by hitting a home run in the Cardinals' 10-3 loss to Double-A Springfield on Saturday.
Washington, who played for Springfield and Triple-A Memphis last year, was told before the game by manager Tony La Russa that he'd made the team.
``I'm breathless right now. It hasn't sunk in. Words can't describe how it feels right now. After 10 years in the minors, I'm going to the big leagues,'' Washington said.
A 29-year-old career minor leaguer, Washington got the slot that would likely have gone to infielder Brendan Ryan, who will start the season on the disabled list because of a rib cage injury.
Washington is an infielder who mostly played third base in the minors. He has played in 1,134 minor league games, and hit a combined .279 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs in 79 games last year during an injury-plagued season at Springfield and Memphis.
``He caught balls in different positions. He had good at-bats and makes a positive contribution,'' La Russa said. ``We have flexibility with him. We have options.''
Washington's fifth-inning solo homer sailed into the St. Louis bullpen behind left field as fans cheered one of their favorites from last season.
``I was fortunate to hit it. It topped off my day and I wanted to leave Springfield with a home run,'' he said.
Washington was greeted in the dugout with high-fives from La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan and Albert Pujols.
Advertisement

Top MLB Public Bets

Advertisement

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail A's Season Win Total Prediction How many games will the Oakland A's win this upcoming MLB season?
Thumbnail Padres Win Total Prediction How many games will the San Diego Padres win in the 2017 MLB regular season?
Thumbnail Cards lose Reyes, WS Odds Unchanged Earlier this week the Cardinals lost phenom Alex Reyes to season-ending Tommy John surgery but their World Series odds remain unaffected.
Thumbnail MLB Home Run Champion Odds Which player will hit the most regular season home runs in Major League Baseball in 2017? Let's take a look at the odds.
Thumbnail Middle infielder fills big hole as camp opens After using his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade to the Braves in November, Brandon Phillips has clearly warmed to the idea of...

MLB Team Pages