Angels first baseman Albert Pujols underwent surgery to repair the plantar plate of his right foot back in November. He is still not ready to participate in defensive drills and is likely to begin the 2016 regular season the disabled list, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports.
Manager Mike Scioscia said that they’re not going to try to rush Pujols back any faster than his timetable suggests:
“[…] we’re definitely not going to try to sacrifice the lion’s share of the season to get him back maybe two weeks before he should. When he’s ready, he’s ready.”
Pujols, 36, hit .244/.307/.480 with 40 home runs and 95 RBI in 661 plate appearances last season. He’s sitting on 560 career home runs, 14th on the all-time list. Even with a late start to the season, Pujols could reasonably surpass Reggie Jackson (563), Rafael Palmeiro (569), Harmon Killebrew (573), and Mark McGwire (583).
C.J. Cron is likely to handle first base while Pujols works his way back.