In between booing the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez tonight at Ameriquest Field, take a gander at the pitcher on the mound for your Texas Rangers. It'll be Adam Eaton. I know: Who? In case you forgot--and, really, who could blame you?--Eaton was the experienced starter acquired last offseason for Highland Park product Chris Young. After spring surgery to repair something called a pulley tendon on his middle finger (pick your own punch line, that one's too easy), Eaton hasn't pitched this season and hasn't taken a major league mound since October 2.
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In the heat of a pennant race, the Rangers are desperate for a boost from Eaton, originally slated as their No. 2 starter. But, come to think of it, they'd probably be leading the AL West if they'd have just held onto Young. The actual trade was Young, Adrian Gonzalez and Termel Sledge sent to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Eaton and Akinori Otsuka. The latter has literally been a savior for Texas, taking over as the closer when Francisco Cordero faltered early and saving 21 games. But, so far at least, the Padres got the better end of the deal. Young is 8-4 with an ERA of 3.64. None of Texas' starters has an ERA under 4.00. But it's Gonzalez who's been the shocker: Hitting .301 with 18 homers and 49 RBI, he has better numbers than Rangers star Mark Teixeira (.271, 14, 61). Eaton could, of course, tilt the scales of the trade back toward Texas. That process begins tonight. Finally. --Richie Whitt