SEATTLE – Arriving at Safeco Field fresh from a collegiate classroom, Class AA outfielder Jaime Bubela became a major leaguer Tuesday.
A 27-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder, Bubela was brought up to take the place of the injured Jamal Strong on the Mariners’ roster.
It wasn’t hard to convince him to come – the tough part was finding him.
Bubela’s season ended Saturday, when San Antonio was eliminated from the playoffs, and he drove home to Houston on Sunday. By Monday, he was in school, attending Houston Baptist University.
“I’d already missed a week of school, so I went to school on Monday,” Bubela said. “Between classes I got a message from (San Antonio manager Dave Brundage). I called him back and he said he wanted to congratulate me. Then he wanted to know how important school was to me.
“I told him it’s pretty important. What’s going on? He said, Jamal got hurt.
“I told them if they needed anybody in Triple-A, just let me know. I’d have to miss some classes to go help them out. Find out some specifics and let me know.
“He said, ‘I have some specifics. You’re not going to Triple-A.’ “
Bubela – pronounced Boo-bell-ah – arrived Tuesday and took his first round of major league batting practice.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “I got here about 1 o’clock and didn’t really know what to do. Only a couple of players were here, so I got to look around and figure everything out before everyone got here.”
In 130 games this season, Bubela batteed .292 and stole 40 bases. In a five-game playoff series, he batted .409.
Manager Mike Hargrove said Bubela would be an extra outfielder and pinch runner for the most part.
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