Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Angels first baseman Albert Pujols may have to DH the rest of the season due to a lingering right foot injury. Pujols dealt with plantar fasciitis last season, but it was in his left foot.
Pujols, 35, was having a terrific season, but has slumped since around the beginning of August. In 125 plate appearances since August 1, he’s hitting .228/.288/.377 with five home runs and 16 RBI. He has 35 home runs overall, his highest home run total since hitting 37 in 2011.
C.J. Cron should get the majority of starts at first base while Pujols serves as the DH, however long that ends up being.
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.
Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.
The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.