Albert Pujols went 2-for-4 with a two-run double and two runs scored Monday against Arizona.
There were questions about Pujols’ readiness coming into the spring after he required surgery in December for plantar fasciitis, but he has proved his health by hitting .343 (12-for-35) with a .981 OPS during Cactus League action. The 37-year-old might not be the hitter he once was, but he’s still capable of piling up valuable counting stats, especially with Mike Trout hitting in front of him.
A.J. Pollock went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Monday against the Angels.
This hasn’t been the smoothest spring for Pollock, as he’s batting just .160 (4-for-25) and was recently sidelined for nearly two weeks due to a groin injury. Fantasy owners will have to hope that he can use the remaining days of spring training to get back into the swing of things. There’s big-time upside if he can stay on the field.
Cubs optioned LHP Rob Zastryzny to Triple-A Iowa; re-assigned 2B Ian Happ, OF John Andreoli and C Taylor Davis to minor league camp.
Zastryzny had a shot at a bullpen spot, but he struggled with a 7.36 ERA this spring. He'll be up at some point when a lefty reliever is needed.
Cubs optioned RHP Eddie Butler to Triple-A Iowa.
Butler held a 3.07 ERA and 0.95 WHIP for the Cubs this spring, although he struck out just seven over 14 2/3 innings. The former top prospect will be part of Iowa's rotation.
Jason Vargas yielded two runs in seven innings in a 10-3 win over the Athletics in Cactus League action on Monday.
It was easily his best outing of the spring. The veteran lefty scattered five hits — including a solo homer to prospect Matt Chapman — while walking none and striking out five. After missing most of 2016 while in rehab mode after Tommy John surgery, Vargas will begin the year with a rotation spot. He’s not the most exciting fantasy option at this stage.
Andrelton Simmons has missed the last two games with back tightness.
He could sit out another day or two but is expected to be fine. Simmons has just three hits in 16 at-bats this spring, as he was away for a while to play for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.
Andrew Triggs was tagged for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings of work Monday against the Royals.
Triggs surrendered eight hits, including three home runs. He gave up a five-spot in the third. It’s not the sort of tune-up Triggs had in mind after recently being named as Oakland’s No. 4 starter, but he told Susan Slugger of the San Francisco Chronicle that he used the start as an opportunity to work on his changeup. Either way, he’s locked into a rotation spot.
Mike Moustakas went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored Monday against the Athletics.
Moustakas is hitting just .204 (11-for-54) this spring, but he has slugged five homers along the way. He could be a sneaky option in fantasy leagues after missing most of last season with a torn ACL. The 28-year-old hit 22 homers with an .817 OPS back in 2015.