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Angels place Albert Pujols on 10-day disabled list with knee inflammation

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Just one day after tying Ken Griffey, Jr. on the all-time home run list, Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols has landed on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his left knee. It’s not clear exactly when the injury developed or how long Pujols will be sidelined, though it seems likely that he’ll rejoin the team soon after the All-Star break next week.

The 38-year-old hitter hasn’t paid a visit to the disabled list since 2013. He’s currently batting at a clip of .251/.291/.432 with 16 home runs and a .723 OPS through his first 268 plate appearances. As the Angels are currently slated to face the Dodgers during their last pre- All-Star Break series, they’ll be able to spare their DH for a few days while they keep an eye on his condition.

In corresponding moves, the team optioned outfielder Michael Hermosillo to Triple-A Salt Lake and recalled fellow outfielder Jabari Blash and first baseman Jose Fernandez. While Blash didn’t make much of his major league call-up earlier this season, his Triple-A numbers are impressive: a .327/.438/.755 batting line, 23 home runs, and a 1.193 OPS in 249 PA. Fernandez, likewise, left behind a .333 average and 11 homers in Salt Lake, and will try to replicate those numbers as he plays backup to Jefry Marte at first base.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).