NEW YORK -- Jose Pujols did not start the Angels' series finale against the Mets on Sunday afternoon, sitting out his third consecutive game with a sore right hamstring.Pujols tweaked his hamstring on Wednesday and underwent an MRI on Friday, though the images came back clean. The 37-year-old slugger had
NEW YORK -- Jose Pujols did not start the Angels' series finale against the Mets on Sunday afternoon, sitting out his third consecutive game with a sore right hamstring.
Pujols tweaked his hamstring on Wednesday and underwent an MRI on Friday, though the images came back clean. The 37-year-old slugger had said he hoped to return to the lineup by the end of the weekend, but his absence will force the Angels to close out their Interleague series at Citi Field without one of their biggest power bats.
Pujols has not been available to pinch-hit in the first two games against the Mets, which has limited the Angels' options off the bench late in games. The Angels' offense has not mustered much in his absence, scoring only five runs in two losses to New York.
"I think the tough part now is that there are a number of guys that are still trying to find their game and get comfortable in the batter's box," manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday. "When you don't have Albert or Michael Trout in the lineup, there are voids that are magnified, and it shows up as you get through a whole lineup. It impacts what we're trying to do. If you're going to be good, you have to be able to absorb a player that is maybe not swinging to his potential or is banged up and out of the lineup."
While Trout entered Sunday leading the American League in OPS (1.186) and is putting together another excellent season, the Halos have struggled to get consistent production from the rest of their offense and entered Sunday with a .683 OPS, which ranked 26th in the Majors. With leadoff hitter Yunel Escobar on the disabled list, catcher Martin Maldonado surprisingly ranks second on the team with a .723 OPS.
Luis Valbuena, who batted cleanup on Friday and Saturday in place of Pujols, is hitless in his last 21 at-bats and received a day off Sunday. He is batting .176 with a .582 OPS and two homers through 16 games. Kole Calhoun (.624 OPS), C.J. Cron (.552 OPS) and Danny Espinosa (.508 OPS) have also underwhelmed at the plate so far this season, making Pujols' recent absence all the more glaring.
• Right-hander Cam Bedrosian is slated to throw off the mound on Monday for the first time since landing on the DL on April 22 with a right groin strain.
"It'll be light, but it's obviously a step in the right direction," Scioscia said.
• Scioscia said he's been following the news of his former Dodgers manager, Tommy Lasorda, who has been hospitalized for several days.
"We got the news that he's in the hospital and we got the news that he's stable, so hopefully he'll make a quick recovery," Scioscia said. "But it's obviously serious if he's in the hospital, so our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.