When Tommy Layne got called up to San Diego last year, he thought it was a joke.

It wasn't.

Layne was one of four relief pitchers from the Tucson Padres to make his major-league debut last season. They combined for 102 big-league appearances.

Now all are hungry to get back up to the majors. The Star sat down with them Tuesday before Tucson's 4-0 loss to the Salt Lake Bees. Here's a look at the four:

LHP Tommy Layne

Height/weight: 6-2, 189

MLB debut: Aug. 14, 2012

Welcome to the majors: Less than a month after his debut, Layne pitched one inning against the Dodgers for his first win. He made 26 appearances with a 3.24 ERA in 16 2/3 innings. He struck out 25 and gave up nine hits.

Trying to get back: "All of it was a highlight. Once you get there and you go through everything it's hard to pick one moment. The whole thing is awesome."

RHP Nick Vincent

Height/weight: 6-0, 184

MLB debut: June 26, 2012

Welcome to the majors: Vincent had the most appearances of the four with 27. He pitched 26 1/3 innings, had a 1.71 ERA and struck out 28 batters. He pitched one inning against the Astros on June 28 for his first of two wins.

Trying to get back: "It's hard for me because I just started throwing again. I was off all spring with tendinitis in my forearm so I'm just trying to get back where I was at and work up from there."

RHP Brad Boxberger

Height/weight: 6 feet 2 inches, 218 pounds

MLB debut: June 10, 2012

Welcome to the majors: Making 24 big-league appearances helped Boxberger realize the differences between the majors and minors and showed him what he needs to do to get back there. He struck out 33 batters over 27 2/3 innings and had a 2.60 ERA.

Trying to get back: "I got a taste of it last year, and I know what it's like. It's always been a goal of mine to be a major-league baseball player so getting back there is definitely a goal."

RHP Miles Mikolas

Height/weight: 6-5, 217

MLB debut: May 5, 2012

Welcome to the majors: Mikolas gave up one run and stuck out two batters in the ninth inning against the Marlins in his debut. He made 25 appearances, struck out 23 and had a 3.62 ERA.

Trying to get back: Mikolas said he wants to get back there even worse than he did before getting called up for the first time. "It's where you want to be from the time you pick up a baseball when you're a kid."


• Who: Salt Lake at Tucson

• When: 7:05 p.m.

• Radio: 1290-AM

¡Tus Padres!

• Highlight: Starting pitcher Tim Stauffer struck out five over six strong innings but didn't get any run support as Tucson lost its third straight. The Padres (3-9) stranded seven runners and went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

• Big number: 7. Former Arizona Diamondback Billy Buckner got the start for Salt Lake and shut down the Padres offense with seven scoreless innings.

• Tonight's starters: RHP A.J. Schugel, Fresno (0-0, 2.00 ERA); RHP Sean O'Sullivan (0-1, 5.40)

Daniel Gaona