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Descalso reflects on former teammate Pujols

D-backs utility man watched slugger's 600th homer on phone
MLB.com

MIAMI -- Daniel Descalso wasn't watching live, but he quickly tuned in on his phone when he saw Saturday night's late news that his former teammate, Albert Pujols, had notched his 600th career homer.

The Angels' first baseman became just the ninth player in Major League history to join the 600 home run club, a feat Descalso marveled at.

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MIAMI -- Daniel Descalso wasn't watching live, but he quickly tuned in on his phone when he saw Saturday night's late news that his former teammate, Albert Pujols, had notched his 600th career homer.

The Angels' first baseman became just the ninth player in Major League history to join the 600 home run club, a feat Descalso marveled at.

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"There's only a handful of guys that have ever hit that many home runs," Descalso said. "For me to play with one of those nine guys is pretty cool."

:: Albert Pujols 600-HR club coverage ::

Though briefly, the two played together with the Cardinals in 2010 and in Descalso's first full season in '11. Pujols hit .299 with 37 home runs and 99 RBIs that year. It marked the first time in 11 seasons Pujols was unable to record a .300 average and 100 RBIs.

"I think it was like his worst year in the big leagues," said Descalso, who is in his first season with the D-backs. "That just shows how good that he's been over his career, especially those first nine or 10 years."

Descalso may not have been around to witness any of Pujols' milestone homers -- he was called up in 2010 about a month after Pujols launched No. 400 -- but he did recall three homers that stood out in particular.

Descalso watched Pujols knock three dingers in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series against the Rangers, which tied a record held by Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth. It was a sight Descalso won't forget.

"Biggest stage in baseball, he puts together a three-homer game," Descalso said. "I don't know if there's very many other guys who've ever done that. That's why he was 'The Machine.'"

Now an eight-year veteran with his third club, Descalso has been able to reflect back on playing with a likely future Hall of Famer.

"Just to remember how he was so prepared and how he showed up to work every day and the numbers he put up," Descalso said. "It was a special thing to play with a teammate of that caliber."

Injury notes

D-backs outfielder Yasmany Tomas was available off the bench for Sunday's finale against the Marlins, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. Tomas sat out Saturday's game because of a sore right groin.

"We wanted to give him a little bit more time to recuperate," Lovullo said. "So we'll stay away from him, but he's usable off the bench. We've got to nurse that along and give him time off his feet and evaluate him over the next couple days and see how he's doing Tuesday."

Lovullo also said Taijuan Walker, on the 10-day disabled list with a blister, will throw in an extended spring training game on Wednesday. The right-hander threw a 20-pitch bullpen session prior to Saturday's game against the Marlins.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Daniel Descalso, Albert Pujols