Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Mason Tobin sees first outing as positive

By Richard Durrett

Quick note: In case you missed our postgame coverage, click here for Rapid Reaction from the game, here for a story on Ian Kinsler's versatility and here for Adrian Beltre's big night.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mason Tobin wasn't going to allow one pitch to ruin his Major League debut. The 23-year-old found himself in a 12-3 game in the seventh inning on Saturday and tried to relax and throw pitches.

"I was nervous, but not as nervous as I thought I was going to be," Tobin said.

He started his inning by hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but then got Marco Scutaro to fly out. His 3-2 pitch to Jacoby Ellsbury wasn't bad -- Tobin said it was "OK" -- but Ellsbury was sitting on fastball and belted it out to right for a two-run homer.

"I couldn't get anything else over at that point and he was sitting on it," Tobin said.

But it was his at-bat against Adrian Gonzalez that he's going to take with him and use as a confidence booster.

"I just trusted my stuff and let it tail out there and get a ground ball," Tobin said. "That's what happened. He hit into a double play. He's a good hitter and it was nice to do that."

Tobin said he didn't trust himself when the inning started and he should have. It's a lesson he'll apply his next time on the mound.

For Tobin, Saturday was the official end to two years of injury issues. He was obtained by the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft after the Cubs selected him out of the Angels' organization and traded him to Texas. Tobin made the Rangers' struggling bullpen out of spring despite never having thrown above Class A. Add in that he was injured the past two seasons -- dealing with recovery from Tommy John surgery -- and Tobin is a real underdog story.

"It was good that I got that first one out of the way," Tobin said. "I just have to learn from it and keep going."