Jake Goebbert was just closing his eyes to go to bed Tuesday morning, shortly after midnight, when he got the call.
On the other end of the line was Triple-A El Paso manager Pat Murphy with some good news. Goebbert was headed back to the major leagues to rejoin the San Diego Padres as the team sent infielder Everth Cabrera to the disabled list.
The Hampshire graduate and former Northwestern standout, who had homered hours earlier in a Triple-A game in Salt Lake City, celebrated with his wife, Heather, who was visiting him during the road trip.
"We were both excited, because the timing worked out pretty nicely," Goebbert said. "She was heading home and I was heading to El Paso."
That was the plan, at least.
Instead, Goebbert hopped on a plane to San Diego, where his Padres will play the Rockies Tuesday and Wednesday. The left-handed hitting Goebbert is not expected to be in the starting lineup against Colorado lefties Yohan Flande and Tyler Matzek, but could see time off the bench as a pinch hitter.
The Padres will then head to St. Louis for a series from Thursday to Sunday.
Goebbert hit .250 with a home run in 48 at bats over 22 games during his previous stint with the team. He was optioned back to Triple-A El Paso on July 26 when first baseman Yonder Alonso returned from the disabled list.
In a Thank You letter to the community, published in the Northwest Herald on July 26 after his was sent back to Triple-A following a weekend playing with the Padres against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Goebbert indicated he would do everything in his power to return.
"There are no promises in this game, there is no guarantee for tomorrow," Goebbert wrote in his 'Thank You' letter. "My family’s motto and my father’s favorite quote is, 'Things will come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.' Friday night I was optioned back to Triple-A El Paso, but that only fuels my drive and desire to continue to chase my dream. I hope to return to the big leagues as soon as possible, but never will forget the opportunities that I have had to this point."
Goebbert responded with seven hits in his first 11 at bats in the minor leagues, and went on to hit .417 with 3 home runs and a 1.277 OPS in 16 games.
Jake called his parents after he got the call. His dad, Lloyd, said he believes Jake’s experience in the big leagues will help him this time around.
“The first time jitters are over with,” he said. “He knows what he can do. It will be very interesting to watch him.”