Gonzalez to seek second opinion on elbow

Gonzalez to seek second opinion on elbow

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez is going to get a second opinion on his right elbow before deciding his next step. Gonzalez was diagnosed with a partial tear of the UCL on Friday by Dr. Keith Meister.

"Whatever it is, I'm going to be out six weeks at least," Gonzalez said. "I want to make sure, and I have the option for a second opinion. I'm going to wait for a second opinion just to get that through my mind and see what the next doctor has to say."

The Rangers' plan was for Gonzalez to receive a stem cell injection on Monday and be shut down from throwing for six weeks. He would then be re-evaluated and begin a throwing program that could take six-to-eight weeks before he is at full strength.

Gonzalez said his agent, Jason Wood, is working on finding a doctor for the second opinion.

Gonzalez said the elbow has been bothering him since March 4 when he pitched against the Brewers.

"I thought it was just typical soreness," Gonzalez said. "It was the days in between. The bullpen days were the hardest. It just wasn't getting any better and kept staying the same, and I figured I should say something. I wasn't thinking anything was wrong with my elbow, I was just thinking maybe get a day off, get some rehab and it should be good."

Relievers being stretched out: Keone Kela and Matt Bush are scheduled to pitch two innings on Sunday, either against the Mariners in the Cactus League game or a Minor League game. Tony Barnette and Jeremy Jeffress already had their two-inning outings earlier this week and Tanner Scheppers threw 39 pitches in 1 1/3 innings against the Angels on Friday.

Scheppers was supposed to pitch two innings but had to come out because his pitch count got too high. That's why the Rangers may prefer Kela and Bush do their work in a Minor League game.

The Rangers may not carry a traditional long reliever, so manager Jeff Banister said it's important that all his relievers besides closer Sam Dyson are able to pitch multiple innings in a game.

"That would give guys the opportunity to have the appropriate days and still have enough arms to amount an attack out of the bullpen," Banister said.

Rangers beat

Andrew Cashner said he was feeling good Saturday morning, one day after a 20-pitch bullpen session. The Rangers wanted to see how Cashner would bounce back from the session, which marked the first time throwing off a mound since being shut down because of pain in his right biceps muscle. The Rangers are in the process of mapping out Cashner's throwing session for the upcoming week, although he is still expected to begin the season on the disabled list.

• Rookie first baseman Ronald Guzman was 0-for-13 to start the Cactus League, but was 5-for-10 with a home run going into Sunday's game. Said Guzman, "I hadn't seen any pitches since November so it took me some time, but I'm seeing the ball much better now."

• Knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa makes his second start on Sunday against the Mariners in Surprise. Gamboa was supposed to pitch Friday against the Indians in San Antonio but was pushed back to fill Gonzalez's spot. Gamboa allowed three runs in four innings against the A's on March 11.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.