Surprise callup is 'surreal' for Burriss

Surprise callup is 'surreal' for Burriss

ST. LOUIS -- Emmanuel Burriss received some bad news Saturday when he was called into Triple-A Fresno manager Dan Rohn's office. Fortunately, the bad news was followed up with some good news.

"He called me in his office and he actually told me I was going to Double-A, to mess with me," Burriss said. "I was furious, but I tried to pretend like I wasn't. But he told me I was going to the big leagues. It still hasn't really hit me yet. I guess it will once I see all the people in the stands and stuff like that."

On Sunday morning, the 23-year-old rookie shortstop was standing at his locker in the visitors' clubhouse at Busch Stadium, smiling from ear to ear.

"It's surreal, man, that's for sure," Burriss said. "You do your best to try not to think about getting moved up and try to focus on doing well where you are. It kind of puts it into perspective, all the hard work you've put in. Since you were a Little Leaguer, that's all you've thought about. It's awesome."

The Giants purchased Burriss' contract from Fresno on Sunday morning. It was one of several moves by San Francisco this weekend.

The Giants placed left-handed relief pitcher Erick Threets on the disabled list with a right intercostal strain, recalled right-handed pitcher Keiichi Yabu from Fresno and designated outfielder Rajai Davis for assignment.

Burriss is expected to provide some depth in the infield, specifically behind rookie shortstop Brian Bocock. Burriss and Bocock both played in Class A last season, so Giants manager Bruce Bochy isn't expecting either of them to knock around Major League pitchers from the start.

"You have another guy who played A ball last year, so it's going to be a challenge," Bochy said before Sunday's game. "At least, for where we're at now, we can give both of them a break and not let them shatter their confidence."

Bocock has started every game at shortstop for the Giants this season. He is batting .173, with nine hits in 52 at-bats. He has two RBIs, three runs scored and four stolen bases.

Burriss becomes the sixth rookie on the Giants' 25-man roster, joining Bocock, John Bowker, Steve Holm, Merkin Valdez and Eugenio Velez. Threets is also a rookie.

In his first 16 games with the Fresno Grizzlies, Burriss batted .258 (16 hits in 62 at-bats) with two extra-base hits, six RBIs, six runs scored and two stolen bases. He had a .281 on-base percentage and .306 slugging percentage.

The 33rd overall selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Kent State University, Burriss led the San Francisco organization with 68 stolen bases last season and had 105 steals in his first 204 games.

Burriss opened some eyes in Spring Training, but had never been this close to fulfilling his dream before.

"The closest I've been was I was in Spring Training for a while," Burriss said. "I was there until like the last week, but before that I was in Single-A all last year. I played in the [Arizona] Fall League last fall. Going into Spring Training I was just trying to get some experience, work my way up the ladder and everything. I guess I opened some eyes in Spring Training and the Fall League and they've given me the opportunity."

Bochy said Burriss could get the start Monday against the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

On Sunday morning, Burriss was just taking it all in. He was enjoying every minute of his new adventure, making his way into a Major League stadium for the first time as a big leaguer.

"It was nuts, man," Burriss said. "Walking down the tunnel, just imagining what it's going to be like when things get started. Having all the older guys come up and say congratulations to me. Then actually going out to the field and looking around."

Nate Latsch is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.