Miguel Montero wants the Cubs to activate him so he can play through a sprained thumb

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Cubs catcher Miguel Montero has been on the disabled list for two weeks with a sprained left thumb and the consensus seems to be that it will bother him for the remainder of the season, but he feels ready to return and wants to play through the injury.

Or as Montero told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com: “If I wait to be 100 percent, it’s going to be season-ending, pretty much.”

Montero spoke to a doctor who said he can play through the injury as long as he can tolerate the pain and according to the catcher “in my own mind, I think I can go right now.”

Montero’s injury cleared the path for stud catcher prospect Kyle Schwarber to be called up and he’s been fantastic, hitting .357 with a 1.035 OPS in 19 games. However, he’s also rough around the edges defensively behind the plate and has been seeing action in left field to keep his bat in the lineup.

Assuming that Montero can tolerate the pain and play at something close to 100 percent effectiveness the Cubs are definitely a better team with both Montero and Schwarber at manager Joe Maddon’s disposal, but given the injury and the physical demands of catching that seems like a big assumption to make.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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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).