Los Angeles Angels: The State of Albert Pujols Career


July 21, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) watches game action during the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels announced Monday that they were shutting sown Albert Pujols for the season. The partially torn left plantar fascia tendon that caused him to be on the DL since late July will now be rested. He will get the chance to recover. Why wouldn’t the Angels shut him down?

The Rally monkey on the Jumbotron Monday at the Big A didn’t incite a monster rally to beat the Giants in Game 6 of the World Series, but instead it was meekly waiving a white flag. The Rally Monkey was reduced to a Surrender Monkey because of the news Monday. The Angels have no chance of getting back in the playoff race. Shut Pujols down, and let him recover.

In his first year in Anaheim of Los Angeles, the beginning of the year was by far the worst of Albert Pujols career. Adjusting was hard. He signed a huge contract. The adjustments to a new league and new places were formidable. The expectations were unquantifiable. But he still finished with over 100 RBIs and 30 Home Runs when the infield dirt settled.

After what is most of the 2013 season, what is the state of Albert Pujols’ career now?

He was sitting on 64 RBIs with 17 Home Runs and a .258 Batting Average at the end of June. It was not an Albert Pujols year. But no one save Mike Trout had a year on the Angels that they should really brag about.

What can the Angels expect in the remaining 8 years of his 10-year guaranteed contract?

The most telling aspect of Albert Pujols career at this moment was the headline on the ESPN Bottomline. It announced that Albert Pujols was out for the season. But the most telling part of his career at the moment is what it said his position was.

"The Los Angeles Angels have shut down DH Albert Pujols for the remainder of the season"

DH Albert Pujols?! Pujols was a 2X Gold Glove winner at First Base for the Cardinals. Mike Scioscia can’t help himself but move every player around the field and the bench. He couldn’t consistently put his right and left shoes on the same feet. Yet Albert Pujols was type cast enough this season to get labeled as DH Albert Pujols? Not Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. MVP Albert Pujols. Or even 1B Albert Pujols. He was an average or slightly above average Designated Hitter this season.

If the Angels don’t make some personnel changes, that will be his tag and home for the remainder of his contract. It’s not easy to embrace it or succeed at it like Big Papi. It’s a shortlist of feared, full time Designated Hitters. But get used to it.

I personally expect him to bounce back and start playing like Albert Pujols at some point. Maybe not at the start of the 2014 season, but eventually. We’re talking about Albert Pujols here.

I don’t know the percentage that was his plantar fascia injury, but he had a lot of trouble moving around this season. He could barely move. He might have to lose some weight to make it easier on his lower body, which will sacrifice some power. But he is no good of he’s not playing for the next 8 years. Some changes are necessary. HIs Slugging %, OBP are all at league average this year. Some changes are definitely necessary. The first of many will likely be Mike Scioscia though.

Albert Pujols might not be on the field playing for the Angels but come to the park for the remaining 13 home games of the 2013 season to see Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and the rest of the Los Angeles Angels.