Results tagged ‘ Albert Pujols ’

Baker's bumps and bruises

As if six stitches near his left eye aren’t enough, Marlins catcher John Baker now has a swollen left knee.

In the eighth inning on Friday night, the battered-and-bruised catcher was plunked squarely on his left knee by a 94 mph Brandon League fastball. The pitch got him when Baker turned to sacrifice bunt.

For the second time since Tuesday, he was on the ground in pain. But he quickly stood up and trotted to first base. The knee began to swell on Friday night, but after ice treatment, the 28-year-old was in the starting lineup on Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Jays are starting left-hander Brian Tallet on Sunday, so Baker likely will get the day off with Ronny Paulino getting the start.

Baker on Tuesday sustained a cut near his eye after being scraped by the bat of Albert Pujols. On a foul ball, Pujols’ follow through smacked into Baker’s mask, pulling it off his face, and opening a gash near his left eye. He’s currently playing with six stitches and a black eye.

Baker is now wearing a hockey style mask for more protection. He had been wearing the old style mask that slides over a helmet.

The biggest adjustment Baker says with the new mask is immediately picking up balls in the air. He hasn’t ruled out continuing to use the hockey-styled helmet once he is completely healed.

— Joe Frisaro

Baker out of lineup

Smacked on the side of the face by Albert Pujols’ bat on Tuesday night, catcher John Baker was not in the Marlins lineup on Wednesday against the Cardinals.

The left side of Baker’s face, around his left eye, is swollen. He has a bandage covering six stitches, will stay in for about 10 days.

Ronny Paulino was in the starting lineup on Wednesday, and he likely will be again on Thursday in the series finale with St. Louis.

The earliest Baker is expected back is Friday at Toronto.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will try to stay away from using Baker on Wednesday and Thursday, but in case of an emergency, he would play.

Wes Helms is the emergency third catcher.

In the sixth inning on Wednesday, Baker was smacked on the left side of his mask on Pujols’ long follow-through swing.

He immediately went down hard, and was bleeding. Pujols has expressed his remorse to the Marlins’ catcher.

Baker has been wearing a mask over his helmet. He finds that the most comfortable. But if he does play in the next few days, he has a helmet mask that is similar to a hockey mask, or a mask that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina wears.

— Joe Frisaro


Camping out Sunday

Worth noting on Sunday:

* Wes Helms and Albert Pujols avoided a nasty collision in the first inning. Helms hit a grounder to third, and the Cardinals were attempting to turn a 5-4-3 double play. But second baseman Skip Schumaker’s throw to first was off line. Pujols reached for backhand play, and Helms went airborne to avoid crashing into the All-Star first baseman. Helms actually did a good job leaping over Pujols, but in the process, his cleat caught Pujols in the head/shoulder area. For a few minutes, Pujols was tended to by the Cardinals trainers. He was fine, and continued playing.

* John Lindsey, a 32-year-old non-roster invitee, is quietly been a real professional in camp. Lindsey has been in the Minor Leagues since 1995, and he has yet to see time in the big leagues. He’s played pretty solid defensively at first base in intrasquad scrimmages and B Games. On Sunday, he took grounders at third base. “He must have read the paper and saw we had opportunity at third,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said jokingly.

* Alejandro De Aza continues to be worth watching Spring Training. If he steps up, he could once again find himself in position to make the Opening Day roster. The key for him is to stay healthy. In each of the last two seasons, he was injured either at the end of Spring Training or the beginning of the season.

* On Tuesday, the Marlins are off from Grapefruit League play, but Andrew Miller is slated to throw in an intrasquad scrimmage with Minor Leaguers. Most of the big leaguers will be given the full day off. Miller is throwing to stay on his schedule.

— Joe Frisaro