Quick hits: Pujols powers Cards past Twins

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– The Pirates are reportedly mulling a trade that would send Nyjer Morgan to the Nationals. According to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
the teams were discussing a Morgan for Lastings Milledge swap, but the
Nationals balked when the Pirates insisted on including Craig Stammen
in the deal. The Nats apparently covet Morgan as a potential leadoff
man.

– Albert Pujols launched two home runs
in a win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon. El Hombre leads the
world with 28 home runs and 74 RBI. He’s currently on pace for 60 bombs
and 159 RBI.

– J.C. Romero could be in some hot water. He was accused of assaulting a fan who claims he was grabbed by the neck and pushed after asking “How about you get me some juice?” Romero apparently took umbrage to the request.

– J.A. Happ tossed his first career complete game shutout in a win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Even in 97 career minor league starts, Happ never tossed a shutout.

– Jose Reyes jogged and took batting practice before Saturday’s game, but there’s still no timetable on his return. The Mets leadoff man has been on the disabled list since May 26 because of a right hamstring injury.

– And finally, Roy Halladay is primed for a Monday return
against the Rays. Halladay is 10-1 with a 2.53 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, but
has been on the disabled list since June 18 because of a groin strain.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.