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Clayton Mortensen finally gets word he has made his first major league Opening Day roster

03.30.13 at 12:56 pm ET
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Clayton Mortensen

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Clayton Mortensen has made his first major league Opening Day roster. That has been accompanied with the kind of thrill the 27-year-old expected.

How the big moment transpired, that’s another story.

“It didn’t quite happen the way I imagined it would happen, but nonetheless the answer was yes. It makes me happy,” he said prior to the Red Sox final spring training game, Saturday afternoon at JetBlue Park.

“You hear guys where you get called in and they say, ‘You made the team,’ and a whole huge thing. I just wasn’t sure and I went in (Friday night) and asked Skip [John Farrell], ‘Can I get some confirmation?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah. I kind of thought with [Daniel} Bard being sent down you kind of figured it out.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I guess I just needed to hear yes or no.’ It was last night after the game. I kind of hung around and just asked him if I needed to bring my suitcase in tomorrow. It was cool. It was fine. When I got home that’s when it kind of sunk in a little bit. Once I got everything packed up and ready to go, ‘OK, cool. There’s no more guessing game. I’m on the team.’”

It had been assumed that Mortensen would make the club after Bard was sent to Double-A Thursday. The Idaho native was out of options, while Bard could be sent to the minors without having to clear waivers.

In seven spring training appearances, Mortensen held opposing hitters to a .194 batting average. This after coming off an effective 2012 campaign with the Red Sox, in which he compiled a 3.21 ERA in 26 appearances, striking out 41 and walking 19.

“Coming into camp I felt like I had just as good a chance as anybody,” he said. “I felt like with the year I put up last year, just come in and do my thing and show them I’m the same guy. I felt like my chances were good. You always see the numbers game of the guys and you always think about it a little bit, but at the same time, I try not to worry about it.

“Just like last week, nobody told me anything. My situation was still up in the air and I could be going somewhere else just as easily as I could be going to Boston. That was a little taxing. Now that it’s over and done with, it’s a sigh of relief and now I get ready to go play. It’s exciting. First big-league Opening Day roster. It was pretty cool. That’s No. 1. I’ve been up and down with four different teams, but this is the first one I’m breaking camp with the team. It’s a nice accomplishment.”

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