Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Angels have “been monitoring the rehab” of Chase Utley. Utley has been trying to come back from inflammation in his right ankle and may be back soon.
Utley has a $15 million vesting option this year if he reaches 500 plate appearances. As he only has 249 right now he is unlikely to reach that, which could turn him into a halfway decent rental player if he comes back from his injury with anything approaching his old abilities. Of course, Utley has full no-trade protection, so he’d have to be in on the idea of being a rental too, and in the past he’s shown no desire to do that.
Maybe, however, the chance to play on a winner would change his mind.
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).