Baseball - Major League Baseball roundup

March 2 (The Sports Xchange) - Albert Pujols is confident he'll be ready to play when the Los Angeles Angels open the regular season on April 1 in Cincinnati against the Reds.

Reuters

Pujols told the Los Angeles Times that he continues to make progress from knee surgery last October, adding that he does not need to.

He has been taking batting practice, fielding grounders and running on a treadmill for more than two weeks since reporting to Tempe, Ariz.

He has not run bases yet and is reportedly another two weeks away from appearing in a spring training game.

"If the season started tomorrow, I'd be playing, but there's no reason to push it," he said. "We're being cautious because we have time."

But Pujols, 33, said he does not need to play in a spring game to be ready for the regular season.

"As long as my body feels good, I'm ready to go," he said. "I've got 8,000 at-bats in the big leagues," Pujols said. "I think I've got plenty."

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The agent for Mike Trout is angry that last season's American League Rookie of the Year had his contract renewed by the Angels rather than be given a big raise.

The agent is upset that the Angels renewed Trout's contract for $510,000, just $20,000 above the major league minimum salary.

"During the process, on behalf of Mike, I asked only that the Angels compensate Mike fairly for his historic 2012 season, given his service time," Trout's agent, Craig Landis, said in a statement.

"In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a 'fair' contract and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process. Nonetheless, the renewal of Mike's contract will put an end (to) this discussion."

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San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday against the Chicago Cubs in Scottsdale, Ariz., because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

It is considered minor, and he has dealt with blisters in past springs.

The blister affects his ability to throw sliders and changeups. He had similar issues when he won the National Cy Young Award in 2009.

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Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo was scratched from his Sunday start against the Chicago Cubs because of a minor groin strain, MLB.com reported.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said the injury could affect Gallardo's availability for the World Baseball Classic.

Gallardo sustained the injury during his start against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday. Also, left fielder Ryan Braun fouled a pitch off his left knee Thursday and is questionable to play Saturday.

It should not affect his WBC status with Team USA.

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New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told CBS Sports the problem with left-handed ace Johan Santana is he reported to training camp not in shape to pitch.

Santana wanted to pitch for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, but the team denied him permission because he was not ready to pitch.

Santana ended last season on the disabled list as he struggled after throwing a no-hitter on June 1. He had ankle and back soreness last year as he came back from shoulder surgery.

He was expected to be ready coming into training camp in February but was shut down two weeks ago after two bullpen sessions.

The Mets say Santana has left shoulder fatigue and is trying to build his arm strength back.

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