Catalanotto is in the NL for the first time in a career that has featured stops in Detroit, Texas, Toronto and Texas again. The Rangers released him at the end of Spring Training and added Andruw Jones to the roster instead, making Catalanotto a last-minute free agent in an already difficult market for veteran players.The 29 other teams did not exactly beat his door down, even for a career .292 hitter and a career .289 pinch-hitter. "[The Rangers] let me go really late in the spring so they didn't give me much of a chance to catch on with another team," Catalanotto said. "I did think there would be more interest, but I think the game is changing a little bit. I was surprised there weren't more phone calls." He remained unemployed until May 12, when the Brewers offered a Minor League contract. Catalanotto played five games in extended Spring Training before an assignment to Double-A Huntsville, where he went 3-for-12 with a pair of doubles in three games. Catalanotto had not played Double-A baseball since 1996, when he belted a career-high 17 home runs at Jacksonville. "I played in Huntsville in that league in '96, and the only thing that's changed in that ballpark is the paint," Catalanotto said. His stint with Huntsville this time coincided with a Stars homestand. That meant Catalanotto was spared from the Southern League's notoriously long road trips. "I'm glad I missed that," Catalanotto said with a laugh. "It was a good experience. It definitely makes you appreciate the big leagues even more. Maybe everyone should have to go down every now and then, just to let you know how much more difficult it is down there. They have a good group of guys down there."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less