Rangers spring break: Catcher Patrick Cantwell surprised by call-up

Posted Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Up for a look-see

Texas Rangers catching prospect Patrick Cantwell was as surprised as anybody else, maybe more so.

He was working with the rest of the organization’s minor-leaguers last week when Rangers catching instructor Hector Ortiz gave him the news: He was being called up to the big leagues.

“I was kind of shocked, kind of nervous,” said Cantwell, who turns 24 in April. “It’s pretty surreal. You dream about this a lot as a kid, walking into a big-league clubhouse with big-name guys — you have Adrian Beltre, Prince Fielder, guys like that.”

Cantwell’s promotion, which is likely to be brief, was partially a reward for the work he has done so far this camp.

It’s also a prudent move for the Rangers, who have two catchers recovering from injuries in Geovany Soto (foot surgery) and Robinson Chirinos, who missed the entire 2012 season with a concussion. Manager Ron Washington and his staff wanted to get a look at him in case he’s needed during the season.

Cantwell isn’t quite sure why he was brought up, but he’s enjoying it while it lasts.

“I like to be here early. I like to get my lifting and running in before the day starts,” he said. “Other than that, I feel like just one of the other guys out there doing what I need to do. Put my head down, listen. That’s what I’ve always been taught to do.”

His skills as a catcher are also what have impressed coaches. He knows that’s his ticket to getting an extended stay in the big leagues.

“I pride myself on my defense, and I would consider myself a scrappy hitter,” he said. “So I know that if I want to advance and move up levels, defense is what’s going to get me there. It’s going to give me time to figure out my swing a little bit more.”

He said it

“I don’t think I’ll get a cowboy hat, but I’ll try cowboy boots.” — OF Shin-Soo Choo on becoming a “Texan”

Word from Wash

“Oh, yeah I still got it. I wasn’t feeling strange over there. I’m glad it was only for one inning. When I was doing it, I had some dang good reflexes.” — Manager Ron Washington on coaching third base during Tuesday’s “B” game, in which he didn’t wear a helmet.

Injury update

OF Shin-Soo Choo (elbow soreness): Did not play in Tuesday’s game, but expects to play Wednesday.

RHP Nate Adcock (thoracic outlet syndrome): Evaluated Tuesday by Dr. Gregory Pearl in Dallas.

INF Brent Lillibridge (bruised right thumb): Had two hits in Tuesday’s game, his first action since jamming his thumb sliding into second last week.

OF Alex Rios (strained right intercostal): Took batting practice Tuesday.

C Geovany Soto (foot): Caught live batting practice Tuesday, running at 50 percent.

OF Kensuke Tanaka (fractured teeth): Seeing a dentist in Mesa, Ariz., for cosmetic dental surgery to repair three cracked top front teeth.

INF Jurickson Profar (shoulder tendinitis): Threw from 120 feet Tuesday.

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