Albert Pujols is “hurting real bad”

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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.

Report: Rays sign Brandon Lowe to six-year, $24 million contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.

Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.

MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.