Angels slugger Albert Pujols was supposed to play first base on Sunday,… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
Albert Pujols was supposed to start Sunday's game at first base, but shortly after the lineup was posted Angels Manager Mike Scioscia changed plans, taking Pujols out of the field and using him as the designated hitter for the fifth time in 12 games.
Scioscia explained the switch by saying that Josh Hamilton, the original DH, wanted to continue familiarizing himself with right field at Angel Stadium. But it's clear that Pujols' surgically repaired right knee and the plantar fasciitis in his left foot are bothering him.
"He's battling some stuff that he's had before," Scioscia said of Pujols, who played with plantar fasciitis for parts of 2004, 2005 and 2006. "It comes and it goes. Obviously coming off of knee surgery there's some things that make it a little more complicated.
"But there's one thing that we need Albert to do for our team and right now that's to be comfortable in the batter's box."
Michael Roth was in the major leagues less than eight hours before earning his first big-league victory with two perfect innings in relief Saturday. And when he got back to the clubhouse afterward, his cellphone was buzzing with more than 115 text messages.
"It was pretty wild. I'm glad I had the extra battery pack on there," the left-hander said Sunday as he packed for his first trip with the Angels.
A ninth-round selection in the 2012 draft, Roth wasn't even invited to major league camp this spring. But when the Angels decided to put Kevin Jepsen on the disabled list Saturday, the team's minor league staff was in agreement that Roth, who pitched South Carolina to two College World Series titles, should be promoted from double A.
"It's always been a dream to play professional baseball," said Roth, who joins Dodgers pitcher Paco Rodriguez as the only members of last June's draft class to reach the majors. "You don't really have a time line for yourself. You just want to realize the dream.
"Obviously this is probably quicker than I expected. But it's nice to be here."
Weather or not, here they come
The Angels flew to Minneapolis after Sunday's game to start their second trip of the season. But it's uncertain how much work they'll get done while they're there.
The Twins' game Sunday afternoon with the New York Mets was called off four hours before the scheduled first pitch because of a combination of rain and snow. And the National Weather Service is predicting subfreezing temperatures and occasional snow through Saturday.
"We've played in flurries before," Scioscia said. "If we have to do it, we'll do it. If the conditions become extreme then we'll deal with whatever we have to deal with."
Jepsen will not travel with the team, staying back to have an MRI exam on the tender right triceps that sent him to the DL. . . . Alberto Callaspo, out since Thursday because of a right calf injury, remains day to day and the DL remains a possibility.