CEDAR RAPIDS — The phone rang at 1:38 a.m. Friday, waking up Deb and Jeff Schebler. Deb finally answered it.
“Hi, mom,” their son, Scott, said on the other end of the line. “I’m going to L.A.”
Not completely coherent, yet, Deb’s first response was classic.
“For what?” she said.
“Mom, I’m going to L.A.,” Scott Schebler repeated.
“For what?” Deb Schebler said again.
To play in the big leagues, mom! To play in the big leagues.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have recalled the former Cedar Rapids Prairie prep from Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was en route to L.A. Friday afternoon and hoped to be at Dodger Stadium in time for Friday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Oh, by the way, the Cards were his favorite team growing up. Win, win all around.
“When the phone rings at 1:30 in the morning, and you are the parents of two 20-year-olds, you think you know what it’s about,” Jeff Schebler said. “But it turned out to be something else.”
Schebler, 24, signed with the Dodgers in 2010 out of Des Moines Area Community College and has evolved into a legimimate prospect. The lefty hitting outfielder was the Dodgers’ minor-league player of the year in 2013 after a monster season at advanced-Class A Rancho Cucamonga in which he hit .296 with 29 doubles, 13 triples, 27 home runs and 91 RBIs.
He continued raking last season at Double-A Chattanooga, hitting .280 with 23 doubles, 14 triples and 28 homers. His adjustment to Triple-A has been difficult, as he came into Friday with a .216 average and six home runs.
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But the Dodgers have injury issues, with Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke and Carl Crawford (60-day) all on the disabled list. Schebler will take the roster spot of second baseman and former Cedar Rapids Kernel Howie Kendrick, who is expected to go on the DL with a knee injury.
“I just told him ‘You can’t go up to the plate and ask Yadi Molina for an autograph,’” Scott Schebler said with a laugh.
Puig is in the minor leagues rehabbing and is expected to rejoin the Dodgers sometime this weekend. So this stay in Los Angeles could be short for Schebler.
But at least he got there, the first former Prairie prep in the big leagues and the first big leaguer from Cedar Rapids since Ryan Sweeney.
“I do know he is more prepared than I am for this,” Deb Schebler said. “Even though I always believed it would happen, I’m still not prepared.”
Schebler went 1-for 3 with a strikeout against St. Louis, picking up his first major leaague hit, a single, by lining the very first MLB pitch he saw into left field.
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