TEMPE, Ariz. -- Albert Pujols' daily routine hasn't changed much since spring training began 2 1/2 weeks ago. He's taking batting practice, fielding ground balls hit right at him and jogging on a treadmill. He has not yet run on a field, and he appears at least two weeks away from playing in an exhibition game.
But the Angels first baseman, who underwent surgery to clean out his right knee last October, seemed almost defiant Friday in the face of questions about whether he would be ready by the April 1 season opener at Cincinnati and whether he’d be able to play defense early on.
Asked if he had a feeling when he might be ready to play in a game, Pujols said, "April 1." How many spring games would he need to be ready for the season? "None," he said. "As long as my body feels good, I'm ready to go."
Seriously? Wouldn’t Pujols, who overcame a horrendous April to hit .285 with 30 home runs, 50 doubles and 105 runs batted in last season, need at least a few at-bats to get his timing down?