Cintron more aware after scary incident

Cintron more aware after scare

MESA, Ariz. -- Alex Cintron still had a little headache on Sunday, but he was able to take grounders and felt better two days after getting hit in the face with a foul ball.

"I feel much better," Cintron said. "I'm really lucky it didn't hit me in the other part of my face."

He was standing in the on-deck circle when Mark DeRosa fouled a ball back, and it struck Cintron on the right side of his face under his cheek bone. DeRosa felt bad -- he's had a tough enough spring.

"After heart surgery, nothing fazes me," DeRosa said. "That's par for the course."

Cintron said he was watching the pitcher, and that may have helped him avoid serious injury.

"I was tracking the ball all the way through, so I had a second to react," he said. "It hit me in the soft part and didn't break any bones. It was scary."

He's never come close to being hit in the face.

"I'll be aware now -- I'll be in the dugout," he said about where he'll go to avoid the on-deck circle. "It scares you. You have a flashback of how quick your career can be over. It's a really dangerous area there. I think I'll go behind the hitter or something."

He never lost consciousness and didn't have any damage to his teeth.

Felix Pie, sidelined after undergoing outpatient surgery on his groin area, started in center field on Sunday. He was able to take batting practice Saturday and run, and passed all the tests.

Ronny Cedeno, in the mix for a job on the Cubs' bench, was still slowed by a sore right hamstring. With an off-day Monday, Cedeno most likely won't play until Tuesday. He had been tested this spring in the outfield as well as the infield.

"It's not helping him," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of Cedeno being on the sidelines. "We know he can play the infield, so that's why we'll probably just keep him in the infield."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.