Albert Pujols won’t play in games before mid-March

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Albert Pujols declined to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic because he’s still recovering from offseason knee surgery and now it turns out he won’t be playing any spring training games for a while either.

Pujols told reporters today that he’s targeting mid-March for his Cactus League debut, which would give him about two weeks to get ready for the season.

Pujols’ knee surgery was called “minor” and there’s no indication that his status for Opening Day is in jeopardy, but four months after going under the knife his recovery is still an issue.

Astros claim Buddy Boshers off waivers from the Twins

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The Astros announced on Monday that the club claimed reliever Buddy Boshers off waivers from the Twins.

Boshers, 29, had been designated for assignment by the Twins last week. Across parts of three seasons, the lefty compiled a 4.59 ERA with a 78/25 K/BB ratio in 86 1/3 innings in the big leagues.

Boshers has handled left-handed hitters much better than right-handed hitters, holding them to a career .621 and .793 OPS, respectively. If he makes the 25-man roster out of spring training, the Astros may use him as a LOOGY — a left-handed one-out guy. As of right now, Tony Sipp is the only lefty in the ‘pen.