After long journey in Minors, Harris gets call to Majors

After long journey in Minors, Harris gets call to Majors

After long journey in Minors, Harris gets call to Majors
SAN FRANCISCO -- Relief pitcher Will Harris prepared himself for another line of work in 2009, when he was about to undergo complicated right elbow surgery that would make him a non-factor in the Rockies' plans for two years.

Having recently become a father, Harris promised himself he would not live with any regrets if the operation -- not only Tommy John ligament transfer surgery, but a microfracture procedure to correct cartilage problems with the elbow -- didn't allow him to continue pursuing baseball. He even made plans to return to LSU and earn a degree.

"I was in a hotel the night before my surgery," Harris said. "But I kind of came to terms with the fact that I might not be able to continue, or whatever I'd get out of the game from then on was going to be lagniappe -- it was going to be extra. It was a making peace with it kind of moment."

Now Harris, 26, could be getting everything possible out of the game. The Rockies called him up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday. It wasn't until the fifth inning of Saturday's 9-3 loss to the Giants that Harris arrived at AT&T Park and made himself a player by signing his contract.

But he was still focused on his career. He went to LSU for one semester. Although it left him a semester short of graduation, he put school back on the back burner -- he was majoring in general studies, so he hadn't actually picked what he wanted to do beyond baseball -- and worked toward the Majors. Harris hadn't returned to the mound until last season, when he went 3-2 with a 5.55 ERA in 33 games at Class A Modesto. He began the year as one of the old men at Double-A Tulsa.

"Playing with the guys in the Texas League this year guys were saying, 'These are your first innings in Double-A,' and I'd say, 'Well, actually, three years ago, I was here, but I didn't pitch,'" Harris said, smiling.

Harris caught up quickly, going 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 44 combined games at Tulsa and Colorado Springs. He earned the callup by striking out 66 against 13 walks.