GARY — Randy Santiesteban's waiting game was even more brutal as the RailCats played their way into the postseason over the last three weeks of the season.
Santiesteban, who bruised a bone in his foot on Aug. 11 when he knocked a foul ball off of the first metatarsal, sat first on the disabled list, then on the inactive list. For his season to continue, the RailCats would need to reach the playoffs.
When they did on Monday, the agony extended, though not in his foot.
By Wednesday, he was sending text messages to RailCats manager Greg Tagert, again and again.
"Three times," Santiesteban said. "I was also getting questions from my mom back home, 'are you ready, are you playing in the playoffs?'"
Tagert was checking on the playoff roster rules. Typically a player on the inactive list can't return for 30 days since his last date on the field. The rules change in the playoffs, allowing Santiesteban to be activated from the inactive list prior to Wednesday's Game 1 of the American Association semifinal series against Wichita.
Santiesteban wasn't in the starting lineup Wednesday, but was prepared to hop in the game in case he was needed to spell an infielder.
"Today he bounced around the infield a little bit and did the requisite base running," Tagert said. "Randy was such a big part of this club. I don't know how much playing time he'll get. He perhaps may start a game.
"He came out of (Tuesday's) simulated game with his base running, all those things going well and he waited patiently, maybe not so much as he continued to text me 'am I on, am I on,' and when I sent him the note that he'd be activated for this series, he was excited."
The RailCats also activated pitcher Christian Herstine and put him on the disabled list. Should the 'Cats reach the championship series, Herstine could be activated if he feels prepared to pitch.
Infielder Chris Chiaradio and lefty pitcher Darrell Thompson were placed on waivers in corresponding moves.
"We decided to go with one less pitcher, and with the way the staff gets used in a postseason, as risky as that sounds with this Game 1, as you can imagine there might not be a lot available for Game 1," Tagert said. "It came down to really, certainly we brought Darryl here to help us those last 10 days, but the flexibility that Randy provides and the depth is too invaluable to not have, and all the other position players provide something that's useful to us."
Santiesteban said that he had to wait for the swelling to go down in his foot before a second x-ray could confirm a bruise in lieu of a break.
"I woke up every morning thinking, 'maybe today's the day it feels fine,' then would step on it and think, 'nope, back to step one,'" Santiesteban said. "The doctor did tell me, 'one day you could way up and it's just OK,' that's the way a bruised bone works."