De Fratus thrilled to join big league club

De Fratus thrilled to join big league club

PHILADELPHIA -- Word travelled fast on the greatest day of Justin De Fratus' life.

He could not wait to call his parents to tell them that the Phillies had promoted him to the big leagues Friday, but the word had already spread on the Internet. So when his father, Terry, picked up the phone, it was clear he already knew.

"Dude!" he said to his son.

"I called them five minutes too late," De Fratus said Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. "That was the one thing I was a little upset about. I knew he knew when he picked up the phone. My mother [Dorothy] was in the background. I think she was crying a little bit. But it was just a good moment for my whole family."

The Phillies selected De Fratus in the 11th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. He went 6-3 with a 2.99 ERA and 15 saves in 17 opportunities this season spread between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He is one of the reasons the Phillies are excited about the future of their bullpen, along with Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes, Michael Schwimer, David Herndon and Joe Savery.

"There were no expectations," De Fratus said. "I knew I was throwing well, and I figured if there was any time, this was a good time. There were no expectations, but when you were told, it's just like, 'Wow.' I was numb, you know? It didn't really hit until me and my buddy drove up and saw Citizens Bank Park and saw all the people. That's when it first hit me."