Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 3/27/13
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Matt Tuiasosopo has always had faith -- in himself and in God. That faith paid off Tuesday afteroon when Tigers manager Jim Leyland called the versatile non-roster invitee into his office to tell him he had made the big-league club as a bench player. "Nobody knows how this is going to play out, but if ever there was a guy that came in and opened your eyes up and deserved a shot -- the way he's performed and the way he's gone about his business -- it's him," Leyland said. "He's stung the ball. He's hit the ball out of the ballpark. He's hit the ball hard. He's played first. He's played third. He's played in the outfield pretty well. "I think it's a great story, and I think you're supposed to reward people like that." Tuiasosopo, 26, said he didn't feel nervous at all when he went into Leyland's office. "I was more excited," Tuiasosopo said. "He was either going to tell me I made it or I didn't. "Like I've been this whole camp, at peace with going about my work and the results will be what they are. As long as I knew that I came here, worked hard and went out there and did what I knew I could do, they were going to make their decision. Just excited to hear the news that I heard." At the beginning of the spring, Tuiasosopo making the team probably would have been the last thing anyone predicted. He started 0-for-14 with eight strikeouts and missed a game to be with his wife, Abi, for the birth of their first child, son Josiah. Abi was the first person Tuiasosopo called when he left Leyland's office. "She started crying, she was so excited," Tuiasosopo said. "I asked her if she told Josiah, she said, 'Yep, he's sleeping, but he heard me.'" Tuiasosopo never let his mind veer toward fearful thoughts, despite his slow start. "When I signed here, I believed big things would happen," Tuiasosopo said. "With my faith in God, all things are possible. "I believed in the ability that God has given me, and seriously, the whole offseason, I came into camp and believed that I could do it." That belief soon translated into big things on the field as Tuiasosopo started heating up. He hit three home runs in four games, including one off Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. Through Tuesday, Tuiasosopo was batting .320 with six doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs in 26 games. The four home runs tie him for the team lead with Miguel Cabrera and Don Kelly. "I just had to relax and just go out and have fun," Tuiasosopo said. "I was able to put a good couple last weeks of camp together." Leyland emphasized that Tuiasosopo would have to work even harder during the regular season to be prepared when he's called upon. "In 2010, I spent most of my time with Seattle and I did that," Tuiasosopo said. "Every day I was (at) third base, shortstop, second base, first base. Then I'd go out to the outfield because I was always in the last group of BP. "I got all my work in, so I'm used to doing that, very comfortable with bouncing in and out of the infield, outfield and just getting my work done in the workouts before games." Tuiasosopo's path to the Tigers is an unusual one, involving him doing some of the work usually left to agents. After leaving his previous agent, Tuiasosopo had written to teams directly to see who might offer an opportunity. When he signed with the Legacy Agency this past fall, he told his new agents he again wanted to contact teams himself and then have them work out contract details once he decided on a team. "Pretty much kind of the same letter that I did that first offseason -- just introduced myself, kind of where my career's gone ever since I was drafted, just what I felt I could bring to the team and I was just looking for an opportunity to get back to the big leagues and help bring a World Series to the organization," Tuiasosopo said. "I sent it to Mr. Dombrowski, and they were actually the first team that responded." But the Tigers weren't the only team that responded. Tuiasosopo said he seriously considered three teams, finally narrowing it to the Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers. Tuiasosopo then decided to get some opinions from some former teammates. "I heard nothing but great things from former players, guys I played with like Nate Robertson, who was here (with the Tigers from 2003-09)," Tuiasosopo said. "He had nothing but great things to say about the staff, the organization, the front office. I played with Doug Fister and reached out to (him), asked him what he thought and he said, 'You'd love it here.'" The Tuiasosopo name is well-known in football circles, less so in the baseball world. Tuiasosopo's father, Manu, was a defensive lineman with the Seattle Seahawks. His brother Marques was a quarterback with the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, and his brother Zach played at the University of Washington. Tuiasosopo didn't play football until junior high but became good enough to sign with the University of Washington as a quarterback before deciding to pursue baseball instead. "Football, it was just in my blood, I could just do it," Tuiasosopo said. "I think just as I got older, started playing more travel ball, playing in bigger tournaments, some bigger showcases, I just really fell in love with baseball. Just felt like this was God's calling for me to do. My brothers and my dad, they had football. "I felt like God was directing me towards this path and I've enjoyed it. I've had a lot of ups and downs, it's been a crazy journey, up and down throughout the the big leagues and the minor leagues, being in the minor leagues the last two years, but I haven't regretted it." Now Tuiasosopo will play for the Tigers, starting a new chapter in his baseball career. "I feel very blessed and thankful," Tuiasosopo said. "It's been a crazy spring, from the birth of my first son to this. "Again, I give all the thanks and glory to God because it's been an amazing spring."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Report: 49ers could talk trade for QB at the NFL Scouting Combine

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker