When Albert Pujols played a couple of games at third base last year it was rather unusual and unexpected. But the fact that he did OK there and didn’t hurt anything will make it easier for Mike Scioscia to make out his lineup card for interleague play in NL parks with greater peace of mind:
Manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday that Pujols will move from first to third and [Kendrys] Morales will play defense for the first time this season when the Angels play interleague games at Colorado next weekend and in Dodger Stadium next week, turning what was considered a possibility two weeks ago into a concrete plan.
Of course the Pujols at third base part of this is less notable, I think, than the Morales at first base part. Because has hasn’t played in the field since he broke his leg over two years ago.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.