Albert Pujols returns to Angels’ starting lineup

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Albert Pujols missed two days after leaving Wednesday’s game due to left hamstring tightness, but he’s back in the starting lineup today against the Giants.

While Pujols is back in his standard No. 3 spot, Mike Scioscia’s lineup has a slightly different look. Kole Calhoun moved into the cleanup spot while Pujols was out and will remain there today. He’s been the team’s primary leadoff hitter, but Erick Abyar will get his third straight start there today. Mike Trout remains in the No. 2 spot.

The Angels have tried multiple hitters out of the cleanup spot this season, including Matt Joyce and David Freese. However, Freese doesn’t hit righties and Joyce has struggled against pretty much everyone. Calhoun owns a .276/.334/.450 batting line in the majors and the hope is that he can function as a run-producer.

The Angels led the majors in runs scored last season, but they ranked 18th at the start of Saturday’s action.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.