Back tightness knocks Pujols out of lineup again

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UPDATE: Pujols went for an MRI exam this afternoon and also had an anti-inflammatory shot in his sore lower back, so he may be out for most of the week.
Albert Pujols was scratched from this afternoon’s lineup with what MLB.com’s Matthew Leach calls “a recurrence of tightness in his lower back.”
No one seems to think Pujols’ back problems are very serious, but given that the injury sidelined him for most of last week and has now caused him to go in and out of the lineup a couple times this spring the situation is certainly worth watching.
Of course, as recently as Friday he felt good enough to smack his first homer of the spring (and first homer, period, since September 9).
The good news for the Cardinals is that Matt Holliday is back in the lineup after being sidelined last week by a strained rib cage.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.