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04/06/08 2:53 PM ET

Holm gets first Major League start

Giants' backup catcher started pro career as shortstop

MILWAUKEE -- After spending the past seven years in the Minor Leagues, Steve Holm just hoped to make an impression this spring in camp with the San Francisco Giants.

The 28-year-old catcher certainly accomplished that.

Holm survived the final cut on the team's 25-man roster and caught Barry Zito for his first Major League start Sunday against the Brewers.

"I never really knew I had a chance of making the [Major League] team until they actually called me in the office and told me about an hour before the rosters needed to be set," Holm said. "I guess I was in the right place at the right time."

Originally selected as a shortstop by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1997 Draft, Holm was definitely a long shot as the 1,548th player chosen that year.

Holm went on to play collegiately at Oral Roberts and was reselected by the Giants in the 17th round of the 2001 Draft. The Sacramento, Calif., native spent his first two seasons as a professional at Salem-Keizer (Ore.) of the short-season Northwest League. Holm debuted at shortstop before transforming into a catcher the following year.

After spending all of last season at Connecticut of the Double-A Eastern League, Holm couldn't be happier in the big leagues.

"I'm excited for him," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who caught nine seasons in the Majors. "I'm sure he had visions of making the big league club, but I don't think they were that realistic for him. He's a great story."

Holm made his Major League debut Friday as a defensive replacement and singled in his first big league at-bat Sunday off Brewers ace Ben Sheets. Holm hit a bullet off the glove of Milwaukee third baseman Bill Hall and the ball deflected off third-base umpire Tim Welke in preventing possible extra bases.

Holm replaced starter Bengie Molina in the Giants' ever-changing starting lineup. In the first six games, Bochy has used five different combinations.

"You're always tweaking your lineup, especially this early in the season," Bochy said. "We have some young kids that we want to see a chance play. It's going to change quite a bit."

Jeffrey Zampanti is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.