Hammock shocked to return to Majors

Hammock shocked to return to Majors

Hammock shocked to return to Majors
SAN FRANCISCO -- Robby Hammock always had hope that he would return to the big leagues at some point.

But the D-backs catcher thought it would be as a coach or manager.

Instead, the man who caught Randy Johnson's perfect game in 2004 found out Wednesday night that he was headed from Triple-A Reno to the big leagues.

"I was like, me?" Hammock said. "It caught me so off guard. I've seen crazier things happen in the game, but that was the last thing on my mind at the time. I was numb for a good hour trying to process everything. Obviously it was not something that was based on performance, it just has to do more with history and experience and the team here being in a playoff race. Who knows, I might not even get an at-bat this whole month."

Hammock gives D-backs manager Kirk Gibson the flexibility of having a third catcher as well as someone who can play almost anywhere on the field, including most infield positions as well as the outfield if need be.

"It was pretty much the consensus that he was the guy because of all his experience," Gibson said. "He's very smart and he brings a lot to the table for us."

Hammock, 34, signed a Minor League deal with the D-backs during the offseason with the idea that he would spend the year at Reno making the transition from player to coach.

"I love playing, I love the game, I love playing the game," he said. "That's why I want to coach or manage when I'm done, but my body felt great and I just felt like I could still play. I wasn't going to try and play to prove anything, just to enjoy the game."

Hammock last played in the big leagues in 2008 when he appeared in 18 games for the D-backs.

In 2009 he spent the season with the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate, and last year he appeared in 22 games for the Yankees' Triple-A team.

In 120 plate appearances for Reno this year, he hit .257 with a .353 on-base percentage and a .495 slugging percentage.