Gagne back on mound: Here's the line on Eric Gagne's first outing of the spring: two-thirds of an inning, no pain, no stiffness, his legs still out of sync with his upper body and his velocity between 88-91 mph.Gagne faced three batters in a "B" game Monday against the Brewers, retiring the first two on grounders and then walking the third guy while working on his curve ball. It was the first time Gagne has faced hitters from another team since June 6. That was before he went on the disabled list with a sore elbow and then underwent back surgery to replace a herniated disk on July 8. He also had elbow surgery in 2005 and has pitched in just 16 games over the past two seasons. "The way I feel right now is the best I've felt in two years," Gagne said. "It felt really weird out there; I was both excited and nervous. I was walking around for an hour. It felt like my first day in the big leagues. "I was a little out of whack with my legs, but my elbow felt good and my back felt good. It was pretty encouraging." Gagne's next outing will likely be in a Minor League game on Thursday in Surprise. Benoit shines: The final makeup of the Rangers bullpen is uncertain. The manager's opinion of Joaquin Benoit is quite clear. Washington loves what he has seen from Benoit this spring and reiterated that on Monday after the right-hander threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings in the "B" game. "Awesome," Washington said. "He has always been one of my favorites when he was on the other side, and he hasn't disappointed me with the way he's thrown the ball." Benoit, well on his way to earning a spot as a long reliever, has also pitched in three "A" games without allowing a run. In four innings, he has allowed one hit and struck out five. Kevin Millwood started Monday's "B" game, pitching three innings and giving up a couple of home runs to rookies Brad Nelson and Alicides Escobar. Wilson draws concern: Left-handed reliever C.J. Wilson's spring ERA shot up to 15.75 after he allowed two runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings on Monday. Washington wasn't happy that left-handers were 2-for-4 with a walk off him. "He's been erratic," Washington said. "I'm concerned with his command, and I'd like to see him get some lefties out. I trust Mark. Mark feels like he'll be fine. I've got to trust that and just keep getting him some work." Teixeira out until Friday: First baseman Mark Teixeira remains sidelined with a sore knee and will probably not play again until Friday. He was out of the lineup on Monday. Hank Blalock (sore calf) and Gerald Laird (bruised foot) were also out the lineup on Monday. Laird is expected to be ready to go on Tuesday, while Washington said he'll talk to Blalock to see if he's ready to go. Catcher Miguel Ojeda left Monday's game in the fourth inning with a bruised right thumb. He said it: I enjoyed hitting those guys. I didn't enjoy actually hitting them, but I enjoyed the effect it had on them. It got the left-handed hitters off the plate a little more, and told them I wasn't going to pitch away from them all the time. -- Loe, on hitting two batters in Monday's game Up next: The Rangers host the Chicago White Sox at 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium. Vicente Padilla pitches for the Rangers against left-hander John Danks for the White Sox. The Rangers traded Danks and two other Minor League pitchers to the White Sox for McCarthy in the offseason. Padilla has allowed four earned runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings in his first two outings.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less