Angels have basepath plan for Pujols, in a pinch

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels had an interesting plan in place in case Albert Pujols got on base in his spring debut on Tuesday. Manager Mike Scioscia asked permission from his Cincinnati counterpart, Dusty Baker, to use a pinch-runner for Pujols and still allow him back into the game.

That plan didn't wind up taking effect, though, because Pujols struck out and grounded out twice. The three-time Most Valuable Player came out of the box gingerly on each of his groundouts, and he said that he's been able to do some sprinting but that he really hasn't run the bases yet.

"I think they talked to Dusty about where they were going to take me out and put me back in. Dusty was OK with that," said Pujols. "I was fine to do either/or. I told them I was ready to [run], but since I haven't [run] the bases and all that, they wanted to be careful. I think that's something I'm going to do right now. And then tomorrow. And then hopefully in a couple days I won't have to worry about it."

Baker, for his part, got in a great quip when he heard Pujols would be in the lineup.

"You know Albert wouldn't miss us," said Baker of the ex-Cardinal.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.