By Greg Dillard
It’s been five years since infielder Sean Burroughs last donned a Major League uniform.
His career could have been finished in 2007 when the Seattle Mariners released him in June. But five years and plenty of hard work later, he is back in the big leagues.
The D-backs recalled Burroughs from Triple-A Reno prior to Wednesday’s game against the Padres.
“It’s still really a surreal feeling,” Burroughs said. “I don’t know if I was dreaming when I got the call last night. I try to think of myself as a man’s man, kind of macho but I actually broke down, had some tears last night.”
Burroughs was once a star in the Padres’ minor league system. A first-round draft pick by San Diego in the 1998 amateur draft, he quickly ascended through the minor leagues before making his Major League debut on April 2, 2002.
Despite the hype, Burroughs’ career never completely took off with the Padres. In four seasons, he hit .282 with 11 home runs and 133 RBI. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2006 where he batted .190 in 25 plate appearances. He was cut by Tampa Bay after only eight games.
That’s when his baseball career appeared over. Burroughs was unsure if he’d ever play baseball again.
“To tell you the truth, probably not,” Burroughs said. “If you would have told me 12-14 months ago that I would be playing baseball in general, anywhere, be it in independent leagues or at a high school on a Sunday, I don’t know if I would have believed you.”
This winter, Burroughs embarked on a comeback, hoping to one-day return to the Major League level, signing a minor league contract with the D-backs. Burroughs then dominated Triple-A pitching will with Reno this season, batting .386 with nine extra-base hits in 27 games.
His standout performance there earned him another shot in the Majors.
“It’s been a long journey,” Burroughs said. “I’ve been through a lot, a lot of ups a lot of downs. This organization has given me the opportunity to play and produce and have the chance to come back and play Major League Baseball.”
Bloomquist reinstated from disabled list
The D-backs roster received another boost on Wednesday when the team activated utitiliy man Willie Bloomquist from the disabled list.
Bloomquist missed four weeks due to a lingering hamstring injury. Prior to his disabled list stint, he was an integral part of the D-backs’ lineup.
In 14 games, Bloomquist batted .306 with four doubles, seven stolen bases and seven RBI.
“DL’s are no fun, obviously,” Bloomquist said. “There’s no good time to go on them, nonetheless, happy to be off and happy to be back. I look forward to getting back in there soon.”
During his first season in Arizona, Bloomquist quickly proved himself to be a constant threat on the base paths. In eight stolen base attempts, he’s been thrown out just once.
Given the importance of his speed, Bloomquist did not want to come off the disabled list too early.
“I feel good, good enough to go,” Bloomquist said. “That was the understanding amongst everybody that until I was at a point where I think I could steal some bases and do what I normally do then stay on the DL.”