Sunday, January 13, 2013
Albert Pujols primed for WBC
ESPN.com news services
Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols plans on representing the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic if his surgically repaired knee is healthy, his agent told MLB.com.
But Pujols won't see one of his Angels teammates at the event.
Reigning AL Rookie of the Year and MVP runner-up Mike Trout will skip the WBC for Team USA to focus on a normal spring training, his agent, Craig Landis, told the Los Angeles Times. Last spring, Trout battled an illness that caused him to lose 20 pounds. The outfielder ended up starting the season in Triple A.
Pujols, meanwhile, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in October, something the Angels described as a minor cleanup procedure.
The first baseman's agent, Dan Lozano, told MLB.com that Pujols "feels great so far" in his recovery. When asked if Pujols would play in the WBC, Lozano told the website, "At this point, yes."
In other WBC news, Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has committed to play for Team USA, sources told CBSSports.com.
The website also reported that Bruce Chen, a left-hander for the Kansas City Royals, has committed to play for China in the WBC. That would make him the first major-league player to participate for China in the tournament.
Chen pitched for Panama in the 2009 WBC. He was born in Panama City but is of Chinese descent.
First-round play in the WBC begins March 2. Provisional rosters for all 16 nations will be announced Thursday.