ATLANTA -- Hours before mistakenly thinking he drew a walk during his first MLB plate appearance, Braves outfielder Dustin Peterson shared an emotional phone conversation with his brother, D.J., who responded by making every effort to be present for his younger sibling's Major League debut.
D.J. Peterson, an infielder in the Reds' organization, homered during Triple-A Louisville's Monday afternoon win over Durham, and he was headed back home when was surprised to see a missed call from Dustin. Knowing it was around the time his little brother should have been taking batting practice with Triple-A Gwinnett, he returned the call and immediately said, "Dude, what's going on?"
Less than 30 minutes earlier, Dustin had been informed he had been promoted to Atlanta to fill the injured Ronald Acuna Jr.'s roster spot. As he made the approximately 45-minute trek to SunTrust Park for the second game of Monday's doubleheader against the Mets, Dustin proudly told D.J. that he was about to experience the Major League dream they had shared dating back to their childhood days in Phoenix.
Separated in age by three years, the Peterson brothers were both selected within the first 50 picks of the 2013 MLB Draft. D.J. was taken by the Mariners with the 12th overall selection, and Dustin was taken by the Padres with the 50th pick.
"He started crying and tearing up," Dustin said. "He was super pumped for me. He goes, 'All right, I'm going to call you back. I'm going to look for the first flight out.' So he ended up booking the next flight up."
The rain that delayed the second game of the doubleheader for almost three hours led to the cancellation of D.J.'s flight. But the Reds gave the older brother permission to travel to Atlanta to be with his parents as they got their first opportunity to see Dustin as a Major Leaguer.
Dustin's first career at-bat was unique and memorable in more ways than one. Called upon to make a pinch-hit appearance around 1:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, he strolled to the plate with two outs in the ninth and mistakenly started walking toward first base thinking he'd drawn a walk on what was actually a 2-2 slider from Jeurys Familia. He returned to the plate and promptly struck out looking to end the game.
"I swore that was ball four," Dustin said. "I was amped. I was trying to just battle. It was 1:30 in the morning. I guess you could say that had a little effect. But it was a fun night."
Braves manager Brian Snitker said Peterson will likely be used primarily as a right-handed bat off the bench. Preston Tucker and Charlie Culberson will share left-field duties while Acuna remains sidelined at least into the latter portion of next week.
Soroka set for rehab start
Mike Soroka completed a pain-free bullpen session on Tuesday and is now lined up to make a rehab start for Class A Rome on Friday night. The Braves have not decided whether the 20-year-old right-hander will make more than one start before being activated from the disabled list.
Soroka made three starts for Atlanta before starting to feel right shoulder discomfort, though the injury hasn't seemed to give the Braves much concern.
"Ever since he started playing catch, he's been fine," Snitker said. "I think it's been more of a precaution. I would venture to say down the road when he feels that again, it won't be as big of a deal to him and he'll just keep pitching."
Odds and ends
• Dale Murphy and Ralph Garr will be at MLB Network's studios to serve as the Braves' representatives Monday during the first day of this year's MLB Draft.
• The Braves have not received confirmation left-handed pitcher Luiz Gohara will return from Brazil before his bereavement leave expires at the end of Thursday. If Gohara does not rejoin the Braves by Friday, he will likely be placed on the restricted list.