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09/30/12 4:30 PM ET

Eaton reflects on journey from Minors to Majors

PHOENIX -- A day after D-backs outfielder Adam Eaton learned his season was over due to a fractured right hand, the rookie was back in the clubhouse on Sunday sporting a cast and reflecting on his highlight-filled year from the Minors to the big leagues.

"It's been a memorable season, to end on this note kind of sucks," Eaton said. "But it's better to happen now than March or Spring Training."

The 23-year-old was hit by a pitch on the hand Saturday night in the seventh inning of the D-backs' 8-2 victory over the Cubs. Thinking the injury wasn't as serious as it turned out to be, Eaton stayed in the game for another inning, running the bases and playing the outfield.

"As soon as it happened, I went to the ground and I thought immediately, 'It hurts, but it's not your legs, so get up and run to first,'" Eaton said. "[D-backs first base coach Eric Young] looked and at it and said it was bad. I told him I didn't want to look at it, because I didn't think it was broken, so I continued to play."

But upon returning to the dugout after the top of the eighth, team doctors saw the swelling and asked to get an X-ray of the hand.

"The doc wanted to get a picture of it and we found out it was broken," Eaton said. "I thought he was joking at first. I was like, 'Are you serious?'"

Even though Eaton believes he won't need surgery to repair the hand, the recovery time is estimated around four to six weeks.

Before his promotion to the Major Leagues, Eaton was named the MVP of the Pacific Coast League, batting .381 for Triple-A Reno. Since being called up earlier this month, he has appeared in every game for the D-backs since Sept. 4.

"I've learned so much, it's unbelievable," the outfielder said. "Being able to slow things down and be consistent every day. I did struggle, but I felt like these last few days, I got back into doing things I thought I could do. I felt like I learned how to play at this level, and I learned a lot about myself. It was a good experience."

In 85 at-bats, Eaton compiled a .382 on-base percentage to go along with two home runs, 19 runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.

"Overall, he was a huge success in his time up here," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's encouraging what he could do for us."

Although Gibson admitted Eaton made a few rookie mistakes in his time with the D-backs, the manager said he is curious about the outfielder's potential moving forward as a leadoff hitter.

"He was good, I think he really had some good time up here, it's going to be helpful for him to have been up here," Gibson said. "There were some inconsistencies just like any other player, but I like his drive and determination, the energy he brings. He showed a little bit of power and a little bit of slapping at the ball."

Cahill hits 200-innings mark for second time

PHOENIX -- Entering Saturday night's start with 191 innings this season, D-backs right-hander Trevor Cahill knew he needed to have a special night to reach 200.

The 24-year-old delivered just that, tossing a complete game and reaching the milestone number for the second time in his young career. But even though he made it to 200, Cahill insisted he wasn't concerned with the stat while pitching.

"Not really," Cahill said. "That wasn't my focus, I just felt better as the game went on. I looked up and my pitch count was relatively low, so I thought I could finish it."

Looking back on his season as a whole, Cahill felt comfortable with his progression over the months, steadily improving until his best month of the year in September, in which he finished 4-1.

"As you get older, you learn you only have so many bullets, I just try to focus and use them in right moments in the game," Cahill said. "As you play more games against the teams, you know what kind of hitters they are. For the most part, you just try to keep it down."

Moving into next season, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson believes the right-hander can take a step forward in his second campaign with the club.

"When he throws the ball over the plate, he's dominant all the time," Gibson said. "He's got so much movement on his pitches, he's made progress this year on correcting what he's done wrong. He's starting to figure it out, good stuff in the future for him for sure."

Worth noting

• D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was not in the lineup Sunday for the third consecutive day due to a sore back.

He had previously appeared in his club's last 26 games, dating back to Aug. 28.

"I just know he's not available," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He was much better yesterday, I know. He gets treatment and does exercises, that's it."

As of Sunday, Goldschmidt hasn't had any tests on the injured back.

• D-backs outfielder Chis Young, who last started a game on Sept. 18, still is trying to work his way back into the lineup with only three games remaining in the regular season. He is battling a right quad injury.

"He's close," Gibson said. "He'll get a good run in and try to get more confidence in it."

• Hampered by a left hand injury, D-backs third baseman Chris Johnson was examined by specialist Dr. Don Sheridan on Saturday.

Johnson was told the injury is just a deep bruise and he can't further hurt it.

The infielder planned to hit in the batting cage on Sunday in hopes of playing again this season.

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.