Mike Sweeney has had the kind of spring that forced the Seattle Mariners to put him on their 25-man roster, then narrowly missed disaster while standing in the on-deck circle last night.
James McOwen, the 24-year-old outfielder who had a 45-game hitting streak last season, and spent all spring in minor league camp, wasn't nearly as fortunate.
Sweeney was on-deck when Casey Kotchman's bat shattered on a swing, and the barrel of the bat glanced off his hand - narrowly missing his face.
"It was right there," he said, holding his hand a few inches from his face.
Sweeney took a header getting out of the way, but got up and took his at-bat immediately afterward.
McOwen, brought along on this trip to fill in, was in the game as a left fielder and slammed into the left field fence pursuing what became a ground-rule double.
McOwen hit the wall, then grabbed his left arm.
"I thought he'd broken his wrist," manager Don Wakamatsu said.
As it turned out, McOwen had seperated his right shoulder, an injury he'd had twice before. He was flown to Phoenix this morning for further examination, but the initial diagnosis wasn't good.
McOwen may require season-ending surgery and miss all of 2010.