Barajas was cruising I-10 on his way out of Phoenix, Arizona, when he got his first call from the big leagues in September 1999. Catcher Kelly Stinnett had sprained his left hand on a check swing, so the Arizona Diamondbacks needed a new backup catcher. They promoted glove-wizard Barajas from Double-A to fill the role.
Barajas made only five major-league appearances in his first sojourn with the team, but showed enough promise that by the beginning of 2001 manager Bob Brenly selected him to back up Damian Miller. With a lifetime batting average below .200, Barajas depends on his ability to handle pitchers and block sliders in the dirt to stay employed. (EPW)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»November 1, 2001: In an amazing case of history repeating itself, the Yankees again come from two runs down with two outs in the 9th inning to defeat the Diamondbacks, 3-2 in 12 innings. Byung-Hyun Kim is again victimized, this time by Scott Brosius' 2-run home run in the 9th. Alfonso Soriano's single wins it in the 12th. Steve Finley and Rod Barajas homer in the 5th for Arizona's runs.
»September 28, 2002:
The Diamondbacks clinch the NL West title by virtue of a 17–8 win over the Rockies. The 17 runs ties a club mark. Matt Williams and Steve Finley each homer twice and Rod Barajas has four hits and four RBIs.
»October 5, 2002:
The Cardinals oust the defending world champion Diamondbacks by taking a 6–3 win to sweep into the NLCS. David Dellucci and Rod Barajas homer for Arizona, but it's not enough to stop St. Louis. Jeff Fassero picks up his second win of the series in relief.