It’s been a minute … maybe even millions of them.
Alberto Pujols is in the final season of a 10-year, $ 240 million contract, and was released by the Los Angeles Angels on May 13 of this season after hitting just .198 and allegedly turned down a bank role. But since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, he is hitting as well as he has in many years, albeit with a limited game.
Pujols’ full lineup with the Angels this season: 24 games, 17 hits, 5 home runs, 12 RBIs and a .622 OPS. With the Dodgers? 19 games, 15 hits, 5 home runs, 13 RBIs and a .888 OPS. The sample size is as different as it is limited. The .888 OPS would even score one that is better than some Pujols had it during his time with the Angels.
But Pujols’ impact has also translated into a victory, as the team is 38-25 on the season, 1.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants. In the 19 games Pujols has played, the Dodgers, who were 22-18 years old before their arrival, they are 12-7. In fact, they’ve won every one of the first seven games he’s played, all but one of which were starts, and have been victorious in 16 of his last 23.
Pujols, who has hits in six of his last 12 at-bats, has a .268 batting average in the National League this season, which he hasn’t hit in a full season since 2016. Again, a very small sample size, but that ignites sparks. promise for World Series contenders.
Maybe it’s too early, maybe the 41-year-old has figured something out, or maybe it’s just productivity from a change of scenery that everyone needs at some point. Pujols is not where he was on that other Los Angeles team, and he will be counted on in the Dodgers postseason if it stays at a respectable level. A visible Albert Pujols is a victory for Doyers Baseballas well as any baseball fan who is still attached to the sport.
Even more pujols?
And, for those keeping the score, Pujols is 24 home runs off Alex Rodriguez’s 696. Pujols, with 10 home runs this season already, would need to hit 34 overall to catch A-Rod this season for fourth all-time, which he hasn’t had since 2015, his final All-Star season. But given the spark of production, could it have another season on it, albeit at what would surely be a discounted bank paper rate?