SAN FRANCISCO -- Making the Giants' Opening Day roster this season was a thrill for catcher Steve Holm. He spent the previous seven years with six Minor League teams, bouncing from city to city.
Serving as Bengie Molina's backup, Holm spent three months in the bigs this season before being optioned to Triple-A Fresno in late June. He was recalled Wednesday when catcher Eliezer Alfonso was optioned, and he was asked whether, during his stint with the Giants, he forgot anything about the Minor League experience.
"I spent long enough," Holm said, "I remember pretty good."
Surely, it's understandable why he'd rather be a backup catcher in the Majors than an everyday backstop in the Minors. Holm started Thursday's game against the Nationals, but he'll spend most of his time as a late-innings replacement for Molina.
When Holm was optioned, he didn't spend much time worrying whether he'd get another big league opportunity. He said Giants brass made it clear that he'd be back sooner than later.
"You never really know. You could never come back," Holm said.
In 11 games with Fresno, Holm showed his offensive ability, batting .324 with nine RBIs. He was hitting just .214 in 39 games with the Giants. He thought playing every day for a couple of weeks with the Grizzlies would help him sharpen his offensive skills.
Behind the plate, though, the Triple-A time didn't do any good.
"I think the hardest thing as a catcher, especially in Triple-A, is you don't know any of the hitters," Holm said. "I ask guys, and they're like, 'Oh, we don't know them.' Here, you have a plethora of information."
With the Giants, video of opponents, hitters' batting charts and additional coaching make it impossible for any hitter to remain unknown for long.
The travel and food in the Majors isn't bad, either. Minor Leagues mean "nachos for dinner" and "puddle-jumpers at 6 in the morning," as Holm put it.
Whether he's starting, "chicken for dinner" and "charter flights after the game" make the Majors the better experience.
David Biderman is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.