SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Eric Hurley isn't backing away from his goal to make the major league club in 2011. But he's also not taking anything for granted. After all, he's still making his way back from essentially missing two years.
He missed 2009 with shoulder surgery (torn rotator cuff) and broke his wrist last year at spring training. He had three surgeries to repair the wrist, one requiring a new screw. The 25-year-old pitched very well in the Fall League (didn't allow a run in his final four starts) and arrived a spring training under the radar.
The reality is Hurley is likely headed to Triple-A to start the 2011 season.
"The only thing I can do is go out there and pitch," Hurley said. "I just want the rock. If that's in Arlington or Round Rock, I still have to get outs when I can."
Hurley pitched three scoreless innings on Tuesday in Tempe against the Angels. He walked his first two batters, struggling with his fastball command. But he settled down and ended up facing the minimum thanks to a cou;ple of double plays. That included getting a runner going from second to third and then doubling another runner off first.
"Napoli came out a few pitches before that and said we'd try it," Hurley said. "I didn't think we'd get a double play off it."
Hurley said he wants to get better control of his slider and that will be his focus the next time he throws. While he doesn't appear to figure into the plans for the big league team coming out of spring training, Hurley could provide some important depth.
"It just good to be back," Hurley said. "I like being around the guys, in the clubhouse. There are things I missed about baseball from PFPs to playing cards in the clubhouse."
Hurley said his streak of victories in card games is over. But he's just glad to be playing again -- in the clubouse and on the field.
Other notes from the game:
* CF Julio Borbon had one of his best games of the spring. He made a running catch in centerfield on a line drive and then scampered all the way to the wall in one of the deeper parts of the field to make another catch, showing his speed and range. Borbon also had a single and stole a base (on a 1-0 count in the first off Ervin Santana).
"I'm still working and there's always things to improve on," Borbon said. "I'm pleased with it overall."
Borbon said his swing felt good on Tuesday, a good sign as he's battled with his timing this spring. Washington said he still wants to see more consistency at the plate. He put on a hit-and-run and Borbon took a huge swing. Washington just wants him to get the ball in play in that situation.
* It seems that whenever Andres Blanco get in the game, he gets a hit. He had another on Tuesday (in the fifth).
* Mitch Moreland had a double in the fourth and was on base in the sixth after an error. Moreland showed some speed in legging out the double after hitting the ball to left field. He never hesitated in taking the second base bag.
* C Mike Napoli played against his former team and was 0-for-3. He said before the game that he got a chance to say hello to some of his old teammates.