Sappelt makes immediate impact in debut

Sappelt makes immediate impact in debut

CHICAGO -- Rookie Dave Sappelt couldn't contain his excitement.

The 5-foot 9-inch, 24-year-old -- who led off and played left field in his first game in the Majors, an 8-7 win over the Cubs -- was all smiles when he got the call to join the Reds in Chicago.

"I just couldn't stop smiling," Sappelt said. "I was ordering food, a hamburger and fries, when I found out. I think I ate about two fries. It's a moment I'll always remember."

In his debut, Sappelt went 1-for-5 with a run. His first big league hit came on a single to lead off the fifth inning.

With the Reds up by a run and runners on first and second in the Cubs' half of the second, Sappelt made a diving catch to rob Geovany Soto and preserve the Reds' lead.

"Sappelt made some outstanding defensive plays," manager Dusty Baker said. "Defense is big, you know I'm big on defense, and he saved some runs today."

Sappelt got his callup from Triple-A Louisville after the Reds placed Chris Heisey on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. He then hopped on the first plane out of Scranton, Pa., where the Bats were in the middle of a five-game series against the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate.

Selected in the ninth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Sappelt has appeared in 74 games in Triple-A Louisville this season. He's hitting .313 with 16 doubles, seven homers and 29 RBIs.

Sappelt impressed the Reds in Spring Training when he hit .564 (22-for-39) with five doubles, three home runs and five RBIs, but the team elected to send him back to Triple-A. "I thought at some point I would [get my chance]," Sappelt said. "You never know what can happen. I felt like I had to be somewhere in line. I just did my part in Louisville."