First, there were three.
Then there were two.
And now Dean Anna finds himself in Reno, Nev., for tonight's Triple-A All-Star Game as the only Tucson Padre on the roster.
Tucson was well-represented when the rosters were announced earlier this month, with three players - Anna, catcher Rene Rivera and left-handed reliever Colt Hynes - on the Pacific Coast League's roster.
But Rivera was promoted to the big leagues on July 6 after San Diego starter Yasmani Grandal suffered a serious knee injury. Hynes joined Rivera in the majors last weekend when he was called up to San Diego one day before the All-Star break.
"The whole deal is about getting to the big leagues," Tucson manager Pat Murphy said. "The Triple-A All-Star Game is an honor, but when you get that call to the big leagues, there's no thinking involved in that one."
So Rivera and Hynes get a few days off on a big-league salary after a grueling first half of the season mostly spent in Triple-A. The Tucson Padres flew (commercially) from city to city, playing 98 games in 101 days.
Anna, meanwhile, will be a reserve infielder for the PCL team in tonight's game, tonight on MLB Network.
He'd probably rather be with his two former teammates, but this isn't the worst consolation prize in the world.
"I'm the lone soldier out here," Anna said Tuesday via cellphone from Reno. "In the locker room, they tried to put all the guys from the same team next to each other. So, I was supposed to be in the middle of Colt and Rene and instead I'm just in the middle of two empty lockers."
But make no mistake: Anna is happy to be there and is hoping to get a couple of at-bats tonight for the PCL. Anna, who plays second base, third base and shortstop, has been in 91 of Tucson's 98 games and is batting .334 in 341 at-bats. He has 29 doubles, eight home runs and 49 RBIs.
"It's definitely an honor," he said of being selected to the game. "I've been playing really well, and people have noticed. I feel good about my chances of getting to the big leagues because of the number of great players that have played in this game in the past."
Added Murphy: "He brings it every pitch, which is a characteristic of some pretty special players. He's a guy that takes winning and losing personally."
Meanwhile, a little more than 550 miles away from Reno, Hynes is enjoying some down time in San Diego with his parents, brother and girlfriend.
They were all planning on flying to Reno to watch Hynes pitch in tonight's game but changed their plans and flew to San Diego. They were all able to get there in time to watch Hynes' big-league debut Sunday afternoon against the San Francisco Giants. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning. Obviously, Hynes said, he's OK with missing the Triple-A All-Star Game to be a big-leaguer.
"I happily made the sacrifice," Hynes said Tuesday. "That first appearance was pretty surreal. I tried to take it in as much as I could and not try to over-pitch or anything.
"It was awesome."
• What: Triple-A All-Star Game
• Where: Reno, Nev.
• When: 6 p.m.
• TV: MLB Network
Contact reporter Daniel Berk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk