SAN FRANCISCO -- Standing behind the backstop at AT&T Park, having completed his first round of batting practice as a major-leaguer, Andrew Susac looked up at the seats and grinned.
"It’s a dream come true," he said. "I didn’t know if it would come this early, but it’s here and it hasn’t really kicked in yet. Just trying to soak it in, see what these stands look like when they’re full."
The Giants on Saturday placed catcher Hector Sanchez on the 7-day concussion DL and called up Susac, the Roseville native and Jesuit High School alum, from Triple-A Fresno. Sanchez was injured when he was struck by a foul ball Friday night, and Susac learned several hours later he was being summoned by the big-league club.
The move marked the realization of a childhood dream for Susac, who grew up a Giants fan attending games with his dad and uncle. Several members of his immediate family, including parents Nick and Shawnna, and his girlfriend made the trip to San Francisco to see Susac in his Giants uniform. He’s wearing No. 34.
Susac, the Giants’ second-round pick in 2011, was in El Paso with the Triple-A Grizzlies when he got the call from assistant general manager Bobby Evans late Friday night. After that, he said, "I don’t think I got three hours of sleep, just kind of calling family, letting them know, getting a hold of them and planning stuff out."
Susac flew from El Paso to San Francisco by way of Phoenix today, arriving around 1:30 p.m. He said his welcome-to-the-big-leagues moment occurred when he walked into the Giants’ clubhouse and saw the locker with his name above it and his jersey inside.
Ironically, Susac has battled the injury bug himself this season, including a concussion that he suffered in May. He said he missed about a dozen games, and then about a week after returning, he pulled a hamstring. He has played in 63 games with Fresno this year, batting .268 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs.
"It’s been really up and down, feeling hot at the plate and next thing you know, I’ve got the hamstring," he said. "I feel like I’ve been battling to get back up the whole year, but I feel like I’m going up as I come up here, so it’s good timing."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Susac will be the backup catcher in Sanchez’s absence, and that, "I see him catching maybe once a week, somewhere in that area.
"Whether I put him with (Tim Lincecum) or not, I’ll think about that. But he’s a guy that you can use off the bench, too, with the bat he provides us. This guy, it’s a matter of time before he’s going to be up here on a regular basis. That’s how much we think of him."
Susac said he’s already familiar with much of the pitching staff, having caught many of them in spring training.
"I’ve caught everyone in a game except for maybe (Tim) Hudson," he said. "Started Bum and Vogelsong, caught Timmy’s sides for three years now. So as far as being comfortable with them, knowing their repertoire, I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp."
Sanchez, meanwhile, has "made some improvement," Bochy said. "But it’s going to take a few days.
"These concussions, they take time," Bochy said. "I see this being at least seven days, but it’s hard to say right now. It’s different with everybody."