Mike Hauschild got the news every baseball player dreams of getting Saturday when Texas Rangers manager Jeff Bannister told him he had made the Opening Day roster. Not many 33rd-round draft picks play in the big leagues.
“It’s a big deal for everybody if you’re the first pick or the last pick of the draft,” Hauschild said Saturday. “It’s what you’re working for. It’s a dream come true for everybody who gets that call.”
When Hauschild, 27, pitches out of the bullpen this week, possibly as early as Opening Day on Monday against the Cleveland Indians in Arlington, Texas, he will be the third Dayton Flyers pitcher since 2007 to debut. Craig Stammen made the San Diego Padres roster last week. Jerry Blevins is entering his third season in the New York Mets bullpen.
Hauschild also will be the second recent graduate of Beavercreek High School to pitch in the majors. Justin Masterson debuted in 2008, the same year Hauschild graduated from high school. Masterson signed a minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.
“I don’t think it really has hit me yet,” Hauschild said. “I was just talking to people about that. I don’t know if it will until I get in a game and once I start hanging out with some superstar guys. I’ve been kind of hanging out with the younger guys I knew from spring training and got to play against. I’m surrounded by Adrian Beltres and Elvus Andrus, Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels. It’s pretty crazy.”
The Houston Astros drafted Hauschild in 2012. He climbed every run of the ladder to get to the big leagues. The road started in the Appalachian League with the Greenville (S.C.) Astros. He then pitched for the Lancaster Jethawks (Calif.), the Quad Cities River Bandits (Iowa), the Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas) and the Fresno Grizzlies (Calif.).
Last season, with Triple-A Fresno, Hauschild was 9-10 with a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts. This spring, with the Rangers, he was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA. He started three games and made five relief appearances, pitching 20 innings.
Hauschild said he’s ready for the big leagues.
“Last year was a big confidence booster,” Hauschild said. “I had a good year the whole year at Triple-A. It was the first time I had been one place for the whole season.”
Hauschild pitched in the Dominican League last winter.
“I think that’s what got me more confidence than anything, going over there and playing in a crazy environment,” Hauschild said. “I don’t speak the language. It was a little bit harder for me, a little bit out of my comfort zone.”
Hauschild’s parents, Doug and Patty, plan to see his debut this in Texas. Asked if his mom will be able to hold it together, he laughed and said he doubts it.
“She gets really stressed out when I pitch,” Hauschild said. “But hopefully it’s not too nerve-wracking. Hopefully, I’ll get a nice easy one-two-three inning under my belt, and maybe I can have some fun from there.”
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