Burnett injured by bunted ball

BRADENTON — Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett was struck in the face by a ball Wednesday and will fly to Pittsburgh to have his right eye examined.

Burnett was injured as he hit during a bunting drill. After the ball hit the temple near his right eye, Burnett dropped into a crouch near home plate. Nearby players gasped then went quiet as Burnett sagged to his knee.

As he was examined, Burnett joked, "Where did the bone go?"

Holding a towel against his face, Burnett was helped off the field and left the complex without speaking to reporters. The Pirates released no details of Burnett's injury.

More Pirates: Trevor Gooby, director of Florida operations, delivered a baby when a fan went into labor at an event Tuesday night at McKechnie Field. "We were waiting for the ambulance, and she kept saying, 'This baby's coming,' " Gooby said. "She gave one push. The baby came out, and I caught it." The baby, a boy who was born five weeks early, will be named McKechnie.

A's: Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes could arrive at camp as soon as this weekend, general manager Billy Beane said. Cespedes, who agreed to a four-year, $36 million contract, must obtain a worker's visa before he can join the team. "There have been no hiccups," Beane said. "And we think the process is winding down."

Cardinals: Postseason stars David Freese and Allen Craig will make slightly more than the major-league minimum this season. Freese, a third baseman and NLCS and World Series MVP, agreed to a one-year deal worth $508,000, $28,000 above the minimum of $480,000 in the majors and $249,600 in the minors. Craig, a leftfielder who hit three homers in the World Series, will make $495,000 and $248,400. Because they have less than three years of experience, they are not eligible for arbitration or free agency.

Diamondbacks: The team and catcher Miguel Montero ended talks on a multiyear contract until after this season, when he will be a free agent. The sides avoided arbitration when Montero signed a one-year deal worth $5.9 million. General manager Kevin Towers declined to say how close the sides were. Montero, 28, said he has no "hard feelings."

Giants: Second baseman Freddy Sanchez took ground balls and threw to first for the first time since he dislocated his right shoulder June 10. Manager Bruce Bochy said he hopes Sanchez can play in a game by the second week of March.

Mariners: Centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez will miss at least four weeks — and likely longer — with a partial tear of his right pectoral muscle. He was injured Tuesday while making a throw from the outfield.

Marlins: Rightfielder Mike Stanton said he wants to be called by his birth name, Giancarlo (JEE'-ahn-cahr-loh). His full name is Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton. He's not Italian, and Giancarlo isn't a family name. His parents just liked it. Stanton started to go by Mike during elementary school, when teachers and classmates had trouble pronouncing Giancarlo.

Rangers: Japanese import Yu Darvish threw 35 pitches to two minor-leaguers during a 10-minute session. Catcher Mike Napoli said the right-hander used all seven pitches: two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, split-finger fastball, curve, slider, cutter and changeup. Darvish is next scheduled to throw during Friday's intrasquad game then face the Padres on Wednesday.

Red Sox: Outfielder Ryan Kalish, who had offseason surgeries on his neck and left shoulder, said he "felt good," after throwing for the first time. Kalish, who made about 30 throws from about 45 feet, is still expected to be out until June.

Twins: First baseman Justin Morneau, who played 69 games last year because of a concussion, said he hopes to play in Saturday's opener against the Rays.

Burnett injured by bunted ball 02/29/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 12:06am]

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