You’d never know it if you looked at his stats — the Angels’ slugger is hitting .317 with eight extra-base hits — but Albert Pujols has been bothered by plantar fasciitis in his left foot. With another start at DH this afternoon, he has now started more games as the DH (nine) than as the first baseman (eight). Pujols himself admits the injury is bothering him.
“I’m dying,” Pujols said according to Bill Shaikin. “It’s hurting real bad.”
The Angels will continue to use Pujols until he cannot handle the pain anymore.
“You’re always picking at a scab a little bit, when you’re trying to play and trying to run,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “Certainly, you don’t want it to regress. He’s swinging the bat real well.
“You want to keep it to where he can still DH and hopefully get him to first base at some point.”
The Angels have used Mark Trumbo at first base when Pujols has been the DH, which should be the case for the foreseeable future.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.