Albert Pujols not in Angels’ starting lineup Saturday

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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.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.