Thinking that a day of rest might help Albert Pujols both mentally and physically, Angels manager Mike Scioscia is giving the first baseman his first full off-day on Saturday against the Blue Jays. Pujols didn’t even take pregame batting practice and is not expected to be available for pinch-hitting duties.
This according to the Orange County Register.
“I’m just going to give him a little breather…” Scioscia explained. “Sometimes when you’re trying to find something and you’re pounding your head against the wall… if you take that half-step back and take that half-step to the right, there’s that huge door.”
Pujols went 0-for-4 with a strikeout on Friday night and is now batting just .194/.237/.269 on the year.
Mark Trumbo is starting at first base and Alberto Callaspo is playing third base on Saturday night.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.