Reliever Josh Wall was speaking to reporters at the far end of the Dodgers dugout when Clayton Kershaw suddenly jumped into his arms.
“Hey, buddy, you made it!” Kershaw shouted.
Wall received his first call to the major leagues Saturday, when he was summoned from triple-A Albuquerque to replace Javy Guerra on the active roster. Guerra was placed on the bereavement list, as he traveled to Mexico to be with his father, who was scheduled to undergo open-heart surgery.
Wall, 25, didn’t expect to take this long to reach the major leagues when he was taken by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2005 draft. He and Kershaw pitched together at Class-A Great Lakes in 2007.
But as a starting pitcher, Wall never quite developed as planned.
After pitching two seasons at high A, Wall was demoted to low A in 2010.
“That was definitely the lowest,” Wall said.
He was moved to the bullpen last season. He found it to his liking.
“It’s a little better mentally for me,” he said.
Wall has been closing at Albuquerque this season. Though he has posted an unsightly earned-run average of 5.68 in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, he has saved 18 games.