VIDEO: Albert Pujols slugs his 498th career home run

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Watch as Angels first baseman Albert Pujols moved to within two home runs of the big 500-homer milestone on Saturday afternoon against Tigers closer Joe Nathan …

Pujols hit 455 of his 498 career homers while a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. There are currently 25 players in the 500 home run club: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome, Sammy Sosa, Frank Robinson, Mark McGwire, Harmon Killebrew, Rafael Palmeiro, Reggie Jackson, Manny Ramirez, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas, Eddie Mathews, Ernie Banks, Mel Ott, Gary Sheffield, and Eddie Murray.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.