Greg Hauck, Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols to undergo more tests on sprained left wrist

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8:00 p.m. EDT: The Cardinals don’t intend to immediately place Pujols on the disabled list with the sprained left wrist and shoulder injury he suffered Sunday.  Pujols said he isn’t yet certain how serious the problems are.

“To be honest, I can’t give you guys too much until the X-rays and an MRI  tomorrow,” he said. “I know I’m pretty sore. Am I worried? Of course. Hopefully, everything will come out negative
tomorrow. When I come out of a game, believe me, something is really wrong. Hopefully, cross our fingers and I’ll be all right.”

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Ugly scene in St. Louis.

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was lifted in the sixth inning of Sunday’s series finale against the Royals after appearing to injure his left wrist and shoulder while stretching for a wayward throw from second baseman Pete Kozma.

Kozma made a nice play, ranging to his right and firing off a throw while leaping away from the infield. But the ball was not on target and Pujols jammed his extended left arm into the body of Wilson Betemit, who was trucking down the first base line.

Pujols immediately hit the ground in pain and his wrist began showing significant swelling within seconds. It’s quite possible that he suffered a fracture.

Pujols homered in the bottom of the fifth inning after taking an up-and-in pitch from Royals reliever Louis Coleman. The go-ahead shot left Busch Stadium in under two seconds and put a charge into the crowd, but that energy was erased quickly in the top of the sixth when Albert hit the deck.

A free agent this winter, Pujols had mashed eight home runs and tallied 14 RBI in 17 games this month. He was quickly making up for a slow offensive start. Now it seems that all could be put on hold for a while.

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UPDATE, 4:22 PM: According to the Cardinals’ television broadcast (FS Midwest), Pujols has been diagnosed with a sprained left wrist. He will be examined by a physician Monday. So far, the news is promising.

UPDATE, 5:34 PM: La Russa revealed very little in his postgame press conference, telling reporters only that “there’s a chance” Pujols avoided a major injury. The Cardinals tend to keep injury information close to the vest and might not address the matter further until Monday afternoon, after the slugger is reevaluated. La Russa did say that Pujols had “good strength” in his wrist during initial tests.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.