Duffy arrives from Triple-A Fresno

Duffy arrives from Triple-A Fresno

ARLINGTON -- With his phone on silent in his hotel room on Sunday afternoon, Matt Duffy missed a call.

Soon, Fresno Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco was forced to knock on Duffy's door, giving him the news he'd waited all season for -- he'd been called up and would join the first-place Astros in Arlington for their crucial four-game series with the second-place Rangers.

"[Duffy] had no expectation of getting called up," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch. "He was preparing for the [Pacific Coast League] championship. He's got a great appreciation for the opportunity and the accomplishment of reaching the big leagues."

Named PCL MVP after leading Triple-A Fresno in hits, doubles and total bases, Duffy -- a right-handed utility infielder -- started 74 games at third base and 29 at first base, and served as designated hitter in 23. His 104 RBIs made him only the third PCL player since 2012 to reach 100.

"Being consistent and putting in the work day in and day out," Duffy said when asked what led to the spike in production. "Letting what happens on the field kind of just happen on its own. I just try to show up to the ballpark every day, put my work in the cage, take my ground balls, focus, take a good batting practice, and then whatever happens after that happens."

Duffy now enters a tight pennant race with no real gauge of what to expect when he makes his Major League debut.

To alleviate that stress, he's relied on former Grizzlies teammates Max Stassi and Preston Tucker -- both now with the big league club -- to field questions about the transition.

"It's the same game, just on a bigger stage, bigger lights and bigger parks," Duffy said the duo told him. "They're helpful; telling me to play the game and stay within yourself. It should be exciting and fun."

Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.