You don't stop playing because you know you can still do it. You make cities like Gwinnett and Norfolk and Allentown your home in pursuit of this dream. You wait 1,137 days, and it works. You are a big-leaguer again. You haven't even unpacked your suitcase. You're in a game. But your left hamstring grabs. It is tight. You pitched 44 games in triple A this season without an ailment.
Now, you're on the disabled list.
"It's the worst situation possible," Phillies reliever Pedro Beato said Sunday morning. "It's just terrible."
Beato, 30, was a first-round pick more than a decade ago. He has pitched just 94 innings in the majors. With triple-A Lehigh Valley, Beato became a respected clubhouse presence. He carries a set of clippers with him and doubles as team barber. He reached the IronPigs' saves record by mid-July. He had a 2.72 ERA there. The Phillies purchased his contract Saturday. He was placed on the disabled list Sunday with a strained hamstring.
This game is cruel.
Rookie Mark Leiter Jr. replaced Beato on the active roster. The Phillies have churned through pitchers because of trades and injuries. There could be more movement before Monday's 4 p.m. deadline; Joaquin Benoit has enticed a few contending teams. He could be a marginal upgrade for someone at a minimal cost. The Phillies are looking to move him.
Meanwhile, Beato became the latest transaction.
"It [stinks]," Beato said. "There's no other way to put it. I feel terrible for my teammates, for a bullpen that's been taxed so much."
Hyun Soo Kim admitted that he did not know much about Philadelphia. The 29-year-old Korean was surprised to be dealt to the Phillies. He becomes the team's fourth outfielder, although he is limited to left field.
"I'm not really expecting anything other than whatever opportunity I get," Kim said, through an interpreter. "Whatever comes my way, I'll work hard."
Kim could earn some at-bats later this week as the Phillies' designated hitter in Anaheim. He does not face lefthanded pitchers; just 31 of his 488 career plate appearances were against lefties. He was 1 for 25 in those chances.
He posted an .801 OPS in 2016 with more regular playing time. The soon-to-be free agent will not have that luxury in Philadelphia.
"I've been working hard. I've been trying very hard," Kim said. "It'll help me the more I play."