Albert Pujols hopes not playing defense will help foot injury

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Albert Pujols admitted over the weekend that he’s “hurting real bad” while playing through plantar fasciitis in his left foot and for now at least the Angels’ plan is to use him at designated hitter to lessen the wear and tear on the injury.

Pujols started his fifth straight game at DH last night, with Mark Trumbo at first base, and the two-time Gold Glover talked to Ben Platt of MLB.com about his status:

I’m able to play first base, too, if I wanted to. It just gets to a point sometimes during the game, by the fifth or sixth inning, it starts getting real sore. I think being the DH as of right now is the best thing to do to try to stay away from planting it as much. It’s nothing different than what I went through and what I have gone through in my career. It’s something that I know how to handle.

Pujols’ greatness has always come from his amazing hitting, of course, but his defense and baserunning were underrated parts of his game for a long time. Not only has he been a very good hitter rather than a great hitter since joining the Angels, the added value he once brought as a fielder and runner has all but disappeared.

Phillies pick up Matt Strahm with 2-year deal

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA — Left-handed pitcher Matt Strahm joined the Philadelphia Phillies on a two-year deal, the team announced.

The 31-year-old free agent was a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the 2022 season, with a 3.83 ERA in 50 appearances, striking out 52, giving up 17 walks and allowing just five home runs.

Strahm has been a reliever and a starter over his seven seasons in the MLB, playing for Kansas City and San Diego before landing in Boston.

The Phillies did not say how much Strahm’s deal was worth in the news release.

After falling short in the World Series to the Houston Astros, Philadelphia has been on an offseason spending spree, picking up shortstop Trea Turner and right-handed starter Taijuan Walker.