Tag: Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols Injury: Updates on Angels Star’s Recovery from Foot Surgery

Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols‘ status for Opening Day in 2017 could be up in the air after undergoing surgery on his right foot.

Continue for updates.

Latest on Pujols’ Timeline to Return

Friday, Dec. 2

The Angels issued a statement announcing Pujols underwent surgery on his right plantar fascia, and the normal estimated recovery time is four months.

This is yet another physical setback for Pujols, who underwent foot surgery in the offseason, which jeopardized his status for the start of the 2016 campaign. He also had arthroscopic knee surgery in 2012 and suffered through plantar fasciitis in 2013.

Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register noted before the 2016 season that Pujols seemed “more open to DHing now,” given his injury history.

Pujols played a career-high 123 games at designated hitter in 2016 because of his foot problems and declining skills in the field. He did hit 31 home runs, but his .323 on-base percentage was the second-lowest mark of his career. 

When healthy, Pujols has been one of the best players in baseball over the course of the last 15 years, and the 10-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger, three-time National League MVP and two-time Gold Glove winner gives the Angels power in their lineup alongside Mike Trout. 

Despite that sterling resume, Pujols hasn’t been the same dominant force for the Angels as he was with the St. Louis Cardinals during his prime:

Injuries and age have been factors in the decline in production, and it’s unlikely he will ever return to being anything close to what he was at his peak or even when he had an .859 OPS in his first season with the Angels.

The Angels can use a combination of Jefry Marte and C.J. Cron at first base or designated hitter if Pujols is unable to be back before the season starts in April. 

While the Angels at least have some pieces to help them remain afloat without Pujols, they are a more dangerous offense when he is in the lineup and producing behind Trout.

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Pujols Becomes 16th Player to Reach 600 Career Doubles

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols hit the 600th double of his career in Friday’s 5-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, becoming the 16th player in major league history to reach the milestone, per Sportsnet Stats.

Pujols accomplished the feat with one out in the first inning against Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey, but the Angels were unable to score a run in the inning, ultimately wasting their best scoring chance of the game.

While a prolific compiler of two-baggers throughout most of his career, the 36-year-old Pujols has largely become a home run and singles hitter the past two seasons, with Friday’s double giving him just 17 for the year.

He had 37 or more doubles in 11 of his first 14 seasons (from 2001 to 2014), but then hit just 22 in 157 games last year, and is now in danger of setting a new career-low mark in the category.

Pujols only had 19 in 2013, but he was limited to 99 games due to injures, marking the only time in his career he has played fewer than 140 games.

Even if the trend continues, Pujols could eventually climb into the top 10 of the all-time doubles list, as there are still five years remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed prior to the 2012 campaign.

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Pujols Looking to Become 4th Player with 14 30-Homer Seasons

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols enters Friday’s game against the Texas Rangers with 29 home runs for the season, needing just one more to become the fourth player in major league history to record 14 or more seasons with 30 or more home runs, per Sportsnet Stats.

Already universally regarded as one of the best right-handed batters of all time, the 36-year-old slugger should soon find himself in rather fine company, joining Hank Aaron (15 30-plus-homer seasons), Alex Rodriguez (15) and Barry Bonds (14), per Baseball Almanac.

Pujols has had 13 such seasons, tying him with Babe Ruth and Mike Schmidt for fourth-most in major league history.

While still productive in the power department, the Angels’ high-priced DH has otherwise seen his production tail off, even after accounting for his recent hot streak.

His .271 batting average would be solid for most players, but it pales in comparison to his .310 career mark, and the same can be said for his .328 on-base percentage (career .393) and .468 slugging percentage (career .574).

However, if he’s merely being judged by his standards since leaving the St. Louis Cardinals after the 2011 season, this has arguably been Pujols’ best campaign in an Angels uniform.

His 110 RBI are already the most he’s recorded since 2010, and his .796 OPS would represent his best mark since his inaugural season in Los Angeles.

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Albert Pujols Ties Frank Robinson for 9th All-Time with 586 Career Home Runs

Fact: Albert Pujols hit his 586th career home run on Monday, tying Frank Robinson for ninth on the all-time list.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: B/R Insights

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Angels’ Albert Pujols Joins Top 10 of All-Time Home Runs List

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols owns 585 career home runs, placing him 10th on the all-time list with two more than notorious slugger Mark McGwire (583), per Baseball-Reference.com.

Nicknamed The Machine for his yearly consistency at the plate (also earning him a SportsCenter commercial), Pujols has played fewer than 100 games just once in his 16-year career—falling one game shy of the mark in 2013.

Pujols’ accomplishments at the plate earned him Rookie of the Year honors in 2001 and three MVP awards (2005, 2008, 2009), but he wasn’t a slouch defensively, either. The 36-year-old has taken home two Gold Gloves as well. 

While his age has finally caught up to him and forced him to serve the majority of his games at designated hitter for the Angels, it’s just the first time in his career that’s been the case.

Even if his defense has deteriorated, Pujols continues to serve as an asset at the dish. He’s tied for second in the American League with 101 RBI, even though his rate statistics have declined since his prime years with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pujols and McGwire had a small overlap in their careersPujols was a rookie in McGwire’s final season, and the 21-year-old (at the time) looked up to his veteran teammate. These days, the roles of the two are somewhat reversed.

While McGwire’s career has been arguably tainted by the use of steroids, Pujols has never tested positive for any substance, so he’s not on the same blacklist of players who have been closely associated with performance-enhancing drug use.

When El Hombre does finally hang up the cleats and glove, it shouldn’t take more than five years (the first year eligible for induction after retirement) to enshrine him in Cooperstown, a well-deserved icing on the cake for an impressive career.

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Albert Pujols Passes Mark McGwire with 584th Career Home Run on Wednesday Night

Fact: Albert Pujols hit his 584th career home run on Wednesday night, passing Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on the all-time list. 

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.
Source: B/R Insights

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Takeaways from MLB Week 18

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has largely been a mystery since he made his MLB debut in 2013.

He has flashed unbelievable talent and athleticism that suggests he could be among baseball’s best to play the game. But off-the-field drama, injuries and a questionable work ethic have gotten in the way of that.

This past week, the Dodgers decided he will have to figure it out elsewhere, at least for the time being.

The team demoted him to Triple-A.

But this week saw other players arrive back with MLB clubs and some choose to leave them on their own accord. Who might they be?

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Pujols Becomes 17th MLB Player with 15 20-Homer Seasons

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols hit his 20th home run of the season during Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox, becoming the 17th player in MLB history to record 15 or more seasons with 20 or more home runs, per Sportsnet Stats.

This one took the aging slugger a bit longer than usual, as the 36-year-old is still only on pace to finish the season with 31 home runs, which would represent the fourth-worst single-season total of his 16-year career.

Pujols fell shy of 31 in three of his first four seasons with the Angels after slugging at least 32 homers in each of his 11 years with the St. Louis Cardinals.

On a more optimistic note, the Hall of Famer has looked more like his old self of late, finishing July with six home runs, 31 RBI and a .297 batting average in 26 games.

The recent surge has pushed Pujols’ batting average to a respectable .260, with his on-base percentage (.331) and slugging percentage (.439) also solid by the standards of most players.

Of course, Pujols typically isn’t subjected to the same standards, as he’s now in the fifth season of a 10-year, $240 million contract that already looks like a horrible mistake for the Angels.

Though still capable of launching more than his fair share of homers, Pujols has just 11 doubles in 396 at-bats this season after recording only 22 in 602 at-bats last year.

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Albert Pujols Had His 4th Career Game with at Least 6 RBI on Tuesday Night

Fact: Albert Pujols had his fourth career game with at least six RBI on Tuesday night, and his first with the Los Angeles Angels. 

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.
Source: B/R Insights

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Pujols Joins All-Time Top 10 for Most Multi-Homer Games in Career

Suddenly one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball, Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols recorded his 54th career multi-homer game in Tuesday’s 8-6 win over the first-place Texas Rangers, tying Frank Robinson and Manny Ramirez for 10th place on the all-time list for multi-homer performances, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Although the 2016 season has mostly been a prolonged headache for the underperforming 36-year-old slugger and his non-contending team, there have finally been some signs of life in July, with the Angels winning 10 of their 15 games for the month, including all five contests since the All-Star break.

Pujols actually continued to struggle throughout much of that stretch, going 10 straight games without a home run from July 3 through Saturday, nearly dropping his slugging percentage below .400 in the process.

Naturally, he ended the brief slump in a huge way Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, cranking a pair of home runs that moved him into sole possession of 10th place on the all-time list for extra-base hits, in addition to giving him 53 multi-homer games.

Pujols then went hitless during Monday’s 9-5 win in Anaheim, but he bounced back in enormous fashion Tuesday night, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances—highlighted by a pair of three-run homers (in the fourth and fifth innings) off of Rangers starter Kyle Lohse.

The future Hall of Famer needed just three days to raise his slugging percentage from .409 to a season-high .447, and he’ll also enter Wednesday with his on-base percentage (.331) at a high-water mark for the year.

Of course, even with Pujols heating up and the team playing its best ball all season, the Angels still own an ugly 42-52 record that leaves them 12.5 games back in the division and 10.5 back of the final wild-card spot.

As for the record for multi-homer games in a career, Babe Ruth (72) and Barry Bonds (71) are unlikely to face competition from Pujols for the top two spots, per Baseball Almanac.

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