SAN DIEGO -- The first conversation Padres manager Bud Black had on Thursday when he met with rookie first baseman Anthony Rizzo sounded much like the one he had with the 21-year-old in Spring Training.
"I told him, you're a talented young baseball player," Black said. "Don't feel as if you're here to impress me or the [coaching] staff. You have already impressed us. Just do your thing."
Rizzo was officially added to the Padres' roster before the start of a four-game series with the Nationals at PETCO Park. Better still, he was in the starting lineup and was slotted in the seventh spot in the order.
"It's awesome, it's a dream come true," said Rizzo, facing a room packed with television cameras and reporters. "Here we are."
Rizzo, who hit .365 with 16 home runs and 63 RBIs in 52 games with Triple-A Tucson, arrived in San Diego on Wednesday morning, where he had his sore left thumb and the bone bruise in his left hand looked at by team doctors.
The thumb and hand checked out fine, clearing the way for Rizzo to be added to the 25-man roster. He took the spot on the 25-man roster -- and, subsequently, the 40-man roster -- of utilityman Eric Patterson, who was designated for assignment.
After essentially having his way with Pacific Coast League pitching for two-plus months, Rizzo was asked on Thursday what his expectations were.
"Hit doubles, play good defense," Rizzo said. "Whatever situation I'm in ... hit doubles."
Rizzo didn't walk into a room full of strangers when he arrived at PETCO Park. He spent part of Spring Training in the Major League clubhouse and appearing in games during the six weeks the Padres were in Arizona.
Rizzo also participated in the team's first rookie development program in January held at PETCO Park, a nine-day camp designed to help ease the transition of the Minor League players to the Major League level.
"I know what to expect coming in," Rizzo said. "Except ... I got lost a little today coming here."