Monday, April 25, 2011

Pujols leaves game with tight hamstring

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols left last night's game against the Reds with tightness in his hamstring after trying to run out a grounder in the seventh inning.

The Cardinals have Monday off as they travel to Houston to begin a three-game series with the Astros on Tuesday.

Will he be able to play?

"I think it all depends on how I wake up tomorrow," Pujols said, per Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The tests were pretty good. They don't think it's too bad. When I wake up tomorrow, I can sense a little more about how I feel. Hopefully it's not as bad as I feel right now. I'll be glad we have a day off tomorrow.

"I'll show up here early tomorrow, get treatment and we'll go from there. Right now, if I told you I was going to be playing Tuesday, I don't want to say yes and not be there. ... Hopefully, in my prayers, I feel good, have a good day off tomorrow, travel, and on Tuesday I'll be ready to go."

Pujols got off to a slow start and was hitting only .150 through April 11th's win over Arizona. In his past 12 games, however, Pujols has 16 hits in 48 at-bats (.333 average) with six home runs and 13 runs batted in.

Jose Contreras to DL, Ryan Madson to close

Phillies closer Brad Lidge started the season on the disabled list and isn't expected back until June, at the earliest. In addition, J.C. Romero is on the DL with a strained calf and isn't eligible to return until May 4th.

Add another Phillies relief pitcher to the disabled list: Jose Contreras.

Per the Philadelphia Daily News, Contreras has been placed on the 15-day DL with flexor pronator strain. From Sunday to Thursday, Contreras made four appearances in five days and felt some tenderness in his elbow.

"He had been pitching quite a bit," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "A little tender. He did a little better yesterday, and then today he felt some more soreness ... I think it was just the work that he's done. He didn't indicate it was one pitch, just over time, especially after his outing on Thursday."

To take Contreras' roster spot, the Phillies called up Michael Stutes from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

That means that Ryan Madson will assume closing responsibilities. Madson is 2-0 with two saves, ten strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA in nine appearances this season.