Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Derrek Lee will make his spring debut this afternoon against the Phillies, playing first base and batting third. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said last night that Lee will likely get two or three at-bats if he feels well enough.
Lee, who signed a one-year, $7.25 million contract over the winter, was sidelined for the early part of camp recovering from offseason surgery on his right thumb. The 35-year-old first baseman dealt with soreness in his right wrist once he began taking batting practice, but an MRI earlier this month didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary.
Lee batted .260/.347/.428 with 19 homers and 80 RBI in 626 plate appearances between the Cubs and Braves last season. Though he played better after joining Atlanta for the stretch run, his .774 OPS was his lowest since 1999 as a member of the Marlins.
Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.
Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.
Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.
Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.