Albert Pujols has been limited to designated hitter duties recently due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot, but while it’s been painful to watch him run the bases, he’s apparently feeling some improvement.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com passes along word that Pujols will play first base tonight against the Mariners for the first time since April 15. The 33-year-old has appeared as the designated hitter in each of his last seven starts and nine out of his last 10. He said earlier this week that serving as the DH gives him the best chance to get over the hump with the foot injury, so the Angels aren’t going to push him. But it’s a positive sign that he’s playing the field again.
Pujols is batting .267/.385/.413 with two home runs, 11 RBI and a .798 OPS through 91 plate appearances this season. He is in the second year of a 10-year, $240 million contract.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.