The Dunedin Blue Jays had just finished their game in the Florida State League on Wednesday when Justin Dillon was called into the manager's office.
"I had no idea what was going on," Dillon said when he found out he was being promoted to Buffalo. "I actually got a few hours sleep because I was packing all my bags. They told me to pack everything. They didn't know how long. So everything's new right now."
Conor Fisk had a similar experience in New Hampshire, getting the word that he had earned a call-up to Buffalo.
"They said congratulations and don't come back," Fisk said.
Roster status is well beyond their control, but both Fisk and Dillon made favorable first impressions Thursday night, each spinning gems in their Triple-A debut, helping the Bisons to a 3-0 win over the Syracuse Chiefs at Coca-Cola Field.
Fisk picked up the win, throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings giving up three hits with a walk and two strikeouts. He entered the game in the fourth, taking over for Taylor Guerrieri, who made the spot start for the Bisons and allowed just one hit over three innings.
"Taylor did a great job in his three innings," Fisk said. "My job is to come in there and pick him up and give our team a chance to win."
Dillon. meanwhile, sealed the deal, picking up the save in his debut, including striking out five batters while giving up no hits in 2 2/3 innings.
"I was just trying to keep it simple," Dillon said. "You know, believe that it's just baseball. Eliminate the stadium, eliminate everything. It's just me and the catcher. I was locked on him and it was just great. Just me and the glove."
Dillon used his fastball effectively, particularly late in the count or if he was behind in the count. Then he kept his slider down and threw it like his fastball.
"He hit his spots," Bisons manager Bobby Meacham said. "He was painting the corners and was down in the zone with his breaking ball. Really good feel out there."
This is the first full season of professional baseball for Dillon. The 24-year-old was a 2017 draft pick of the Blue Jays out of Sacramento State. He pitched in five games for Dunedin, Toronto's high Class-A affiliate, with four starts, going 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA.
He knows the promotion to Buffalo is special, but he also knows that much of what lies ahead is out of his control.
"I try to stay in the present," Dillon said. "It's hard to be thinking about the future and then be in that moment as well. I just try to stay in the present believing that if I come here and I pitch well who knows what's going to happen. And if I pitch well, it doesn't mean I'm guaranteed a spot here. There are great guys ahead of me."
Fisk was a 2014 draft pick for the Blue Jays out of Southern Miss. He spent 2015-17 playing for various Class A teams in the organization before making Double-A New Hampshire to start off this season. Combined with his 15 innings over seven games with the Fisher Cats, Fisk has yet to give up an earned run this season. But even before that, he turned heads during spring training.
"He just went after hitters. That's the thing I remember," Meacham said of watching Fisk in spring training. "All the guys, the big-league coaches and manager were all saying the same thing – man he goes after hitters. He wasn't afraid. He wasn't around the zone or in and out of the zone. He was just going right after hitters, staying in the strike zone. He did the same thing today."