Albert Pujols still hopes to return before the end of the season


Angels first baseman Albert Pujols has been out since July 27 with a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot. He was expected to miss the rest of the 2013 season, but after removing his walking boot for the first time in three weeks, he feels hopeful about returning before the season is up, according to Bill Shaikin.

The foot injury, which had been bothering Pujols long before he was put on the disabled list, was clearly limiting his ability to play the game. He was having his worst offensive season to date, posting a .767 OPS in 443 plate appearances. Those are decent numbers for most first basemen, but for Pujols — author of a career 1.008 OPS — they are subpar. He is in the second year of a ten-year, $240 million contract with the Angels.

Steven Souza diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle

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Steven Souza looked like he sustained a major shoulder injury after diving for a ball and missing on Wednesday night. Turns out, though, that it is not nearly as bad as it could’ve been: he has a strained pectoral muscle. That’ll only keep him out “a couple of weeks” according to Dbacks manager Torey Lovullo.

Good news for Souza and the Diamondbacks, who are counting on their new right fielder’s power to help offset the loss of J.D. Martinez, who helped the Dbacks to the playoffs with his second half home run outburst. He hit 30 with Tampa Bay last year and would seem poised to at least match that given Chase Field’s more hitter-friendly reputation.

Until Souza returns Jarrod Dyson and Yasmany Tomas will likely cover right field.