Mets (finally) place Michael Cuddyer on disabled list and (finally) call up prospect Michael Conforto

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Michael Cuddyer has remained on the Mets’ active roster despite starting just two games in the past two weeks due to a knee injury. During that time (and even before that) lots of Mets fans were clamoring for the team to call up 22-year-old outfield prospect Michael Conforto for the his MLB debut.

Today the Mets finally shut down Cuddyer, placing him on the disabled list and promoting Conforto from Double-A to the majors.

For most players it makes little sense to play through an injury and in Cuddyer’s case he’s hit just .250 with a .683 OPS in 82 games this season. This offseason the Mets forfeited a first-round draft pick for the right to sign the 36-year-old Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal, which is a move that received lots of criticism at the time and now looks like a huge mistake.

As for Conforto, he was the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft out of Oregon State and made quick work of the minors by hitting .308 in 133 games. He began this season at high Single-A and moved up to Double-A in late May, batting .297 with 12 homers, 24 doubles, and an .854 OPS overall. Baseball America ranked Conforto among MLB’s top 20 prospects in their midseason update, but with just 45 games above Single-A his readiness for the majors is unclear.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).