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Pujols to Injury-Thrashed Dodgers: Why not?

May 16th, 2021 · No Comments · Angels, Baseball, Dodgers

We are pretty sure Albert Pujols can catch and throw a ball, and sometimes hit it, too … and is ready to take the field, if he gets the chance.

Which suddenly makes him attractive to the injury-ravaged Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pujols was released by the Angels 10 days ago, and most of us figured “that’s that” for a great career, as the week ended with no one apparently interested in signing the future Hall of Famer.

After 10-plus years with the Angels, keeping him on the roster in Anaheim was a luxury they apparently felt they could not afford. Not when Jared Walsh and Shohei Otani are ready to play 1B.

The Dodgers were not an option we entertained, did we? What do the World Series champions need with a guy in the twilight of his career? In a league without the DH?

That’s about as far as our analyses went.

But now? The fact that he can still drag himself up to the batter’s box puts him ahead of a bunch of Dodgers who are too hurt to play.

Inviting Pujols up to Chavez Ravine as a free agent, with the Dodgers paying him the major-league minimum for however long he lasts … what are the down sides?

And maybe there is still a little pop in that big bat, maybe a few more big hits from a veteran addition to a team that suddenly appears to be held together with chewing gum and spit.

Let’s go over the Dodgers’ situation, because aching limbs is the reason Pujols is joining up.

The Dodgers lost two starters last night — shortstop Corey Seager with a broken hand (out for months) and outfielder A.J. Pollock with a hamstring strain.

They already were without Cody Bellinger (ankle) and utility men Zack McKinstry and Edwin Rios. Not to mention missing a team’s worth of pitchers — starters and/or relievers.

(Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Tommy Kahnle, Corey Knebel, Brock Stewart, Brandon Morrow, Brustar Graterol, David Price, and Scott Alexander. All of them too hurt to pitch.)

Not suggesting Pujols is going to be any help from the pitcher’s mound, but maybe it will be a nice change for the team to see someone walking into the clubhouse without his arm in a sling.

Pujols is a class guy, and it never hurts to have one more of those on the team. He has gotten a bit of flak for insisting on continuing his career, but who among us would walk away if we had a chance to play another stretch of baseball?

Those who saw Pujols during those five weeks he played with the Angels this season said they thought he was a little sharper than he had been in recent years, when that 10-year, $240-million contract seemed to be a millstone around the necks of the Other Los Angeles team.

Also, Pujols hits righty, and the Dodgers don’t have many of those.

So, what the heck, roll the dice. Three-time MVP, six-time Silver Slugger and 10-time Gold Glove winner — plus two-time World Series champ, with the Cardinals. Worst case, he looks over-matched, here at the end of the career, and strikes out with the bases loaded a time or two, and you thank him for his service and let him go to work on his HOF acceptance speech.

Or maybe he adds to that career homer total of 667, No. 5 on the all-time list, with Alex Rodriguez 29 ahead of him.

This could be interesting (what will he look like wearing blue?), and about the best case for Pujols. No slumming with out-of-contention teams. And he already is in Southern California.

Let’s roll.


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