Former Sioux Falls Pheasants catcher Eddy Rodriguez is in Spring Training with the San Diego Padres in Arizona with one goal: staying longer than the nine days he was with the big league club last season.

Rodriguez, 27, played his first professional season in the Reds' system in 2006, played two seasons in Sioux Falls, and then signed with the Padres before the 2011 season. He was catching with Class A Lake Elsinore on July 31, when he got the call to San Diego.

Rodriguez appeared in two games and hit a home run against his old organization on August 2 on the first pitch he saw from Reds starter Johnny Cueto. In doing so, he became the second Padres player to hit a home run in his first at-bat. Pitcher Dave Eiland also did so in 1992.

Six days later, Rodriguez returned to the Minor Leagues and Nick Hundley was recalled.

In an interview with, Eddy said:

To me, it was a big surprise.

It was almost the culmination of all the hard work, all the sacrifices that we put in in the Minor Leagues and independent leagues.

Hitting the home run was icing on the cake.