Tucson Padres shortstop Dean Anna - the man with nearly 2,000 career minor-league plate appearances - could taste his first major-league call-up in mid-June.
San Diego's starting shortstop Everth Cabrera was going on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, and the Padres were out of infielder options at the minor-league level.
Anna's cell phone should have been ringing at any moment with news of his first-ever major-league promotion.
Instead, San Diego pulled a last-second trade, acquiring Pedro Ciriaco from the Boston Red Sox. Ciriaco joined San Diego, and Anna, who played in his 500th career minor-league game a couple of weeks later, stayed in Tucson.
What does a guy with a .341 batting average have to do to get a promotion?
"That's what they wanted to do, and I can't control that," said Anna, who went 1 for 2 with a triple and two walks in Tucson's 3-2 walk-off win over Las Vegas at Kino Stadium on Friday night. "I don't have any say in their deals. I've been dealing with it my entire career. I don't look at that stuff anymore.
"I just live for today, and tomorrow's another day. You have to keep pushing through your days."
Anna, 26, is not the only Tucson Padre putting up big numbers to be bypassed for a promotion.
Left-handed reliever Colt Hynes has struck out 38 batters in 29 1/3 innings and has an ERA of 2.15 in Tucson. But fellow lefty Tommy Layne and his 4.18 ERA have been called up multiple times this season.
Outfielder Daniel Robertson, a Triple-A All-Star last year and owner of a .294 average this year, has seen Jaff Decker (.267 average) get called up twice.
The truth is, Anna, Hynes and Robertson aren't considered prospects and are all fighting different challenges keeping them from the major leagues.
On top of that, none of the three are on San Diego's 40-man roster.
"If they go up, someone has to go on the 60-day DL, or you have to take someone off the roster and risk losing them," manager Pat Murphy said before Friday's come-from-behind win.
"It's a tough deal."
Here's a closer look at the three with their statistics entering Friday's game.
2013 stats: .341 batting average, 26 doubles, eight home runs, 46 RBIs, 58 runs scored
What he has going for him: Anna has proven in 83 games this season that his bat can play at any level. He's slugging .516 and can hit anywhere Murphy puts him in the lineup. He has proven he can play multiple infield positions, playing 43 games at short, 38 at second and six at third.
What's working against him: He hasn't performed at the plate consistently throughout his career. He batted .271 last season and .277 in 2011. Padres brass have to wonder if this is the real Anna or an aberration. He's also a former 26th-round draft pick who before this year was a utility player without a definite spot in the lineup.
2013 stats: Between Double-A and Triple-A, 1.73 ERA, 37 games, 41 1/3 innings, 54 strikeouts, eight earned runs
What he has going for him: Hynes has been lethal against left-handed hitters and has been more than reliable for Murphy out of the bullpen. He throws in the low-90s and pounds the strike zone.
What's working against him: He's a former starter in the Padres system and was moved to the bullpen because he wasn't all that effective in that role. He needs to prove to his bosses that he can flourish in the lefty specialist job and get big-league hitters out.
2013 stats: .294 batting average, 58 runs scored, 17 stolen bases, 15 doubles, 27 RBIs
What he has going for him: Like Anna, the man can hit. Robertson hit .302 last season for Tucson and has never hit worse than .283 as a professional. He can also do the little things like get bunts down, steal bases and hit the ball to the opposite field to move runners over.
What's working against him: Robertson is listed at 5 feet 8 inches and 175 pounds. There aren't a lot of 5-8 outfielders in the major leagues, and front-office personnel will always wonder if Robertson's body can handle the wear and tear of a 162-game season.
• What: Las Vegas at Padres
• When: 7:05 p.m.
• Radio: 1290-AM
Contact reporter Daniel Berk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk