Peterson enjoying first taste of big leagues

Peterson enjoying first taste of big leagues

SAN FRANCISCO -- Just eight months ago, Jace Peterson was with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. Just eight days ago, he was still with Double-A San Antonio.

Clearly, it's been a wild ride for the infielder as he's climbed up the organizational depth chart, earning his first big league invite when Padres third baseman Chase Headley went down with a right calf strain on Thursday. For the third time in four days, manager Bud Black penciled in Peterson as the starting third baseman on Tuesday against the Giants.

Peterson slapped a single up the middle against Stephen Strasburg on the first big league pitch he saw during his debut on Friday in Washington. On Monday, he recorded the first two-hit game of his career, going 2-for-4 with a stolen base.

"It's awesome," Peterson said. "Any time you can get your debut and also do something to help the team, it makes you feel better. At the end of the day, you want to win, and that's the most important thing."

Peterson has established himself as a spark plug throughout his Minor League career, as he batted .303/.382/.454 with seven homers, 66 RBIs and 42 stolen bases in 2013. Though he has spent most of his time at shortstop while in the Padres' system, the 23-year-old has shown nice athleticism while at third base in Headley's absence.

"Jace has done a nice job," Black said. "Made a couple nice plays yesterday, made a couple nice plays in Washington. Jace plays at a pace that lends itself to good baseball. He's competitive, but yet plays with an in-game awareness. For a young player, that's good to see."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.