MLB Notes: Pujols not running, still eyes opener

MLB Notes: Pujols not running, still eyes opener
February 27, 2013, 9:00 am
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Albert Pujols is the only Angels player who hasn't taken part in a game so far this spring. (USA Today Images)

CSNPhilly.com/AP

Domonic Brown continues to swing a hot bat for the Phillies in spring training (see story).

Now, some other news and notes from around the majors.

Pujols not running yet, eyes opener
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Albert Pujols is nearly ready to start running on the field in the Los Angeles Angels slugger's deliberate recovery from offseason surgery on his right knee.

Pujols is taking batting practice and running on a treadmill at spring training, and he participated in fielding drills Tuesday. He's expected to start running on the field later this week. The $240 million first baseman isn't expected to play in a Cactus League game until mid-March, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia has no doubt Pujols will be ready for opening day.

Pujols is the Angels' only position player who hasn't played a game in spring training yet. New right fielder Josh Hamilton debuted for Los Angeles against Arizona on Tuesday.

Hamilton hitless in Angels debut
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton went 0 for 3 in his Cactus League debut with the Los Angeles Angels, playing five innings in their 7-7 tie with an Arizona Diamondbacks split squad on Tuesday.

Hamilton grounded out on the first pitch he faced and later flied out twice for the Angels, who signed him a five-year, $125 million free-agent deal to leave Texas for its AL West rivals.

Hamilton had no challenges in right field at Diablo Stadium. He says he's thrilled with his first spring in the Angels' clubhouse, although still a bit unfamiliar with his new teammates.

Gerardo Parra hit a two-run homer and Rod Barajas added a fourth-inning solo shot for the Diamondbacks. Parra warmed up for his stint with Venezuela at the World Baseball Classic with a first-inning shot over Hamilton's head in right.

Indians name Masterson opening-day starter
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- New Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona has named Justin Masterson his starter for opening day.

Francona told the right-hander in the dugout Tuesday before Cleveland played the Kansas City Royals.

It will be the second time Masterson starts a season opener. A year ago, the 28-year-old struck out 10 over eight innings against the Blue Jays in Cleveland, allowing two hits and one run in a game that the Indians went on to lose in 16 innings, 7-4.

The Indians open in Toronto on April 2. Their home opener against the New York Yankees on April 8 already is sold out.

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