MLB notes: Angels' Albert Pujols says he's 'dying' ... of pain

Angels first baseman Albert Pujols prepares to bat against the Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in...

Angels first baseman Albert Pujols prepares to bat against the Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Tex., April 5, 2013. (MIKE STONE/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:51 PM ET

No, Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols isn't near death, but he does have a rather bothersome case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

"I'm dying," Pujols told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. "It's hurting real bad."

One look at the nine-time all-star's 2013 stats and you wouldn’t venture to guess one of baseball’s top sluggers is consistently coming up lame.

Through 16 games this season, Pujols is batting .322 with a pair of home runs and 11 RBIs.

"We've discussed every alternative imaginable," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto told the Times. "We've consulted with specialists.

“(Pujols) is particularly tough – mentally and physically. He's handling it as well as you can."

The Angels used the 33-year-old as the club’s designated hitter for the fourth straight game Sunday.

Dipoto said the Angels hopes Pujols’ injury responds to treatment with the disabled list being the next logical step.

LACKEY TO RETURN

Boston Red Sox righty John Lackey could be in line for just his second start since 2011.

In his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery, Lackey was forced off the mound on April 6 due to a right biceps strain.

According to the Boston Herald, the 34-year-old former all-star and World Series champion could be ready to return to the Red Sox sooner than expected.

Lackey is expected to pitch four innings in a rehab start with Boston’s double-A affiliate in Portland on Monday. If all goes well, the Herald reports he could return to a big league mound as early as Saturday.

In his last full major league season, Lackey accumulated a 12-12 record with the Red Sox in 2011, finishing with 108 strikeouts and a 6.41 ERA.

BRIEFLY

San Diego Padres outfielder Kyle Banks left Sunday’s game against the San Francisco Giants after running into the wall at AT&T Park trying to chase down a fly ball. According to MLB.com, Banks needed four stitches to repair a cut to his eyelid … Cincinnati Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique. The Reds called up Corky Miller from triple-A Louisville Sunday to fill Hanigan’s vacated roster spot … The Cleveland Indians announced Sunday they’ve placed righty Brett Myers on the 15-day disabled list due to elbow inflammation … Los Angeles Dodgers righty Chad Billingsley was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday due to right elbow pain. The Dodgers then recalled right-hander Stephen Fife from triple-A Albuquerque. Called in as an emergency starter, Fife did the job on Sunday, going 4 2/3 innings and giving up four earned runs in a 7-4 Dodgers win over the Baltimore Orioles … The Colorado Rockies placed righty Jhoulys Chacin on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.


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