Notes: Eaton hit by line drive

Notes: Eaton OK after being hit by line drive

MESA, Ariz. -- The Rangers received a serious scare Sunday afternoon but believe it was only a scare.

Pitcher Adam Eaton was forced from Sunday's start in the second inning after taking a line drive off his right arm. The ball smacked him just above the elbow, avoiding what could have been a serious injury.

"It looks like a soft-tissue injury, a badly bruised muscle," trainer Jamie Reed said after the Rangers' 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Hohokam Park.

Preliminary X-rays were negative. Eaton is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Chicago Cubs but his status for that is unknown. He'll be checked again Monday.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow and see if he needs more tests," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "It looks like we may have gotten lucky."

Pitching in 44-degree weather, 12 mph winds and a light but steady rain, Eaton was facing Marquis Grissom at the start of the second inning. Grissom smashed a line drive straight back to the mound that hit Eaton squarely on the right biceps and rolled toward the first baseline.

Eaton recovered, ran down the ball and tagged Grissom out, kept running past first base and into short right field. Reed and Showalter came out to check on him and Eaton immediately walked off the field.

As he walked past home plate toward the third-base dugout, he punted the ball toward the backstop.

"That was a long trot out of the dugout," Showalter said. "The most remarkable thing was getting the out after getting hit. I told him that and he said, 'Was it? I don't remember much about it.'"

Castro continues to shine: With Eaton out, the Rangers had to use left-hander Fabio Castro for three innings instead of two. It didn't matter. Castro continues to give the Rangers much to talk about in their late-night meetings.

Castro, 20, a Rule 5 pick from the White Sox through the Royals, turned in his third straight impressive outing, holding the Cubs scoreless on two hits and no walks, striking out four.

He has not allowed a run in his last three appearances, pitching six innings and allowing three hits and four walks while striking out 10.

"He was good," pitching coach Mark Connor said. "I like the fact he changed speeds and threw strikes. He always has a changeup that he can throw over the plate. His breaking ball needs to get a little better but he's not scared. He gets after it."

As a Rule 5 pick, Castro has to be on the roster the entire year or offered back to the White Sox. But other teams could claim him before that and the Rangers think someone will.

The only other option is to trade his Rule 5 rights to another team, who would face the same decision. But the Rangers would get something in return for a pitcher who appears to have significant long-term value.

"We knew that coming in," Showalter said. "We wouldn't have drafted him if we didn't think he had a chance. You can see why he's worthy of being drafted."

Through it all, Castro keeps pitching.

"It all depends on them," he said. "It's part of the game. If I go back to the White Sox or another team, I'll just keep doing my work."

Cordero back: Pitcher Francisco Cordero was back from the World Baseball Classic and not in a good mood Saturday. Cordero, added to the roster for the final round, wanted to pitch but wasn't allowed because the insurance company covering the games refused to add him.

A history of shoulder problems and some stiffness early in spring were cited as the reasons. Cordero had flown to California on Thursday and returned on Saturday.

"I wanted to stay but what was I going to do if I'm not going to pitch," Cordero said. "I was really disappointed. I was going to pitch, I flew out there, got dressed, went out to the field to work out and the general manager Stan Javier said I'm not going to pitch."

Cordero pitched for the Rangers on Sunday against the Cubs, his first appearance in an A game. He gave up a double to Jerry Hairston but then retired the next three hitters on two grounders and a strikeout.

Blanking the Cubs: The Rangers used seven pitchers against the Cubs on Sunday and still pitched a shutout, allowing five hits and striking out nine.

It was the Rangers' third shutout in four springs since moving to Arizona. They blanked Colorado and Kansas City last year.

"I'd trade that shutout for five runs on six hits in six innings off Eaton and him throwing 75 pitches," Connor said.

Jaramillo prepares to leave: Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo was on hand to watch the Rangers play the Cubs on Sunday, but will fly to Texas on Monday in preparation for prostate cancer surgery on March 28 in New York.

Minor League hitting instructor Brook Jacoby takes over in his absence.

"It will be fine," Jaramillo said. "They'll be good. They'll lock it in the last few days like they always do. I don't want to leave but it's part of it. I'm prepared mentally, I want to get it behind me and get back there with them."

The Rangers are hoping Jaramillo will be back by May and he laughed when asked if the length of his recovery might depend on the team batting average.

"These guys will step it up and get it done, they always have in the past," Jaramillo said. "I'm not making a big deal out of it.

"I'll stay in touch with Brook every day. Brook has been loyal to me, doing our program the way we want it done in the Minors. We've gone over the plan. I'll stay in touch with the team through Brook. If I see something, I'll tell Brook."

In other words, the hitting coach will be watching.

Briefly: Laynce Nix (shoulder surgery) is expected to play the outfield for the first time this spring on Tuesday in a Minor League game. Said Showalter, "It doesn't bother him to run, field. He's starting to swing the bat better. Throwing is the final thing to come around. He's not feeling pain. He wants to get to the point where he does things naturally, get over it mentally as well as physically." ... Gary Matthews Jr. (strained ribcage) had a good day in the batting cage and could play in a game sometime in the upcoming week. ... Catchers Rod Barajas and Gerald Laird have combined to throw out 7-of-8 base stealers.

Coming up: The Rangers have a day off on Monday but Vicente Padilla and R.A. Dickey are scheduled to pitch in Minor League games in Surprise. The Rangers are back in action on Tuesday, hosting the Angels at 2:05 p.m. CT in Surprise. John Wasdin pitches for the Rangers while Kameron Loe will do his work in a Minor League game.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.