Dodgers Roster: Albert Pujols Activated, Andrew Vasquez Optioned
Albert Pujols
Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Albert Pujols from the injured list and optioned Andrew Vasquez to Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to Wednesday’s matchup against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers’ active roster now has 15 pitchers and 13 position players.

When the Dodgers reinstated Cody Bellinger and placed Pujols on the IL, it was without any sort of designation. Such instances are often a result of either a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19) or needing to go into health and safety protocols due to contact tracing.

Manager Dave Roberts then explained it was due to Pujols experiencing adverse side effects from the second dose of the vaccine. “He got his second shot and just didn’t feel good after as far as playing in a Major League game,” Roberts said.

“Just to give him a day and see where he’s at [Wednesday], it was an easy move to activate Cody.”

Pujols last appeared in a game on Sunday, when he pinch-hit during the sixth inning of a 3-0 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers then had a scheduled off day Monday before beginning their final homestand of the regular season.

Vasquez is heading back to OKC three days after getting recalled as a corresponding move to Luke Raley getting optioned.

The left-handed relief pitcher was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in a trade for Stevie Berman. Neither Berman nor Vasquez were on the 40-man roster, which made the Minor League swap a possibility.

Furthermore, because it was finalized roughly 10 minutes before Sept. 1, Vasquez is eligible to appear in the postseason for the Dodgers.

Thus far he’s only appeared in two games for the club, with neither coming during his latest stint.

Pujols comfortable in bench role

After making more starts than initially anticipated upon signing with the Dodgers, Pujols has settled in to a bench role.

“I got my routine that I have every day,” Pujols said last week of how he prepares himself to come off the bench.

“I smell it a little bit when I think I’m going to get in the game, and I get myself loose and get ready to play. I come to the ballpark every day, whether I’m not in the lineup or playing, ready to play because you never know.

“The last thing you want to do is just sit on the bench, especially in cold weather like this. I was up and down, running a little bit, getting loose, doing my routine that I normally do every day when I’m not in the lineup.”

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