"I came into the clubhouse and I was playing right field," Petersen said. "Before the game, Hass came up and said, 'You're going to play DH and you're going to get two at-bats. That's all I got for you.' I was like, 'All right. Play it out and see what happens.'"
Petersen knew what was happening, and on Tuesday it became official when he was recalled by the Marlins.
After Monday's Marlins' 3-2 loss to the Pirates, the team announced outfielder Kevin Mattison was being sent to New Orleans. The move wasn't surprising since Petersen is more big league tested to come off the bench. Mattison, who was called up on Thursday for the first time in his career, had one pinch-hit at-bat, in which he grounded out.
Petersen was recalled 10 days after he was optioned on May 5 to make way for an extra relief pitcher. By league rule, players (barring a disabled list situation) have to wait 10 days to be eligible to be recalled.
Petersen gives manager Ozzie Guillen a left-handed bat off the bench. And he can play all three outfield spots. His playing time may depend on how left fielder Logan Morrison, who has been given periodic time off to rest his right knee, is feeling.
"Matty, we sent him down because he needs to play," Guillen said. "Petey, it depends on how LoMo is doing. That will dictate playing time. Right now, he's going to back up."
Preparing to come off the bench is an adjustment for players. Petersen says sometimes, from the dugout, he will simulate at-bats with certain players. For instance, he has broken down Emilio Bonifacio's at-bats.
"When you're not playing, you lose the instinct and the ability to play the game," Petersen said. "When you're down there, in your third at-bat, you're thinking, 'He's going to throw me a changeup right here.' You don't have that when you're not playing every day. So it's one of those things, you have to focus on the game.
"Sometimes I will take at-bats with guys. If a guy like Boni is hitting, sometimes I'll take the at-bat with him, so I feel locked into the game. There is a soft focus when you're watching the game. And when a guy comes up, there is a hard focus, and you may take the at-bat with him. Just so you're staying mentally in there."