Harold Capote Fernandez
Wladimir Sutil realized his dream inside an Albuquerque batting cage before Sugar Land (AAA) took on the Isotopes. His cell phone rang during a pregame batting practice session. He saw Pete Putila’s name and answered.
“He asked me if I had a second. I told him: ‘I’m working, but you called me,'” Sutil said Monday with a smile.
“He explained to me the situation that they needed me here with the Major League team. I was really surprised. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it until I got here. I flew out the next day and it was like, ‘Oh, I’m here. I’ve got it.’ “.
The Venezuelan is one of three replacement coaches called to be part of the Major League staff this season at home. Five full-time coaches have missed at least one of the last five games due to “health and safety protocols,” the Astros’ way of describing anything related to Covid-19.
The circumstance allowed Houston to dip into its ranks of Minor League coaches. For the Mirandino, a dream came true. Sutil has spent nearly 20 years of his baseball career in the Astros organization as a player and coach. He played eight seasons in the system as an infield utility, reaching Class AAA in 2010.
He has coached in the organization since 2014, including two stints as manager in both short-season ball and the Gulf Coast League. He is currently a Class AAA developmental coach, working with the Space Cowboys infielders, as a hitting assistant and as a first base coach.
“I have dreamed of this moment since I was a child in my country,” said Sutil, 37. “Being able to be here and be part of a Major League team is something very big for me. Family, friends, everyone is happy because they know how hard I’ve worked to get to where I am now.”
He came to the Major Leagues at a disheartening time. The Astros were hosting the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park for a one-game showdown after six straight games in the Big Apple. Sutil served as first base coach in place of his countryman Omar López and took out the lineup card before the game, a classy decision by pilot Dusty Baker to acknowledge the presence of the Venezuelan.
“I wasn’t nervous because I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was a kid,” Sutil said. “I couldn’t believe it, but I had been working very, very hard to make a Major League team.”
Font: Texas Sports Nation
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MLB: Wladimir Sutil, the dream of reaching the Major Leagues