For a long time, Albert Pujols was one of the most feared hitters in baseball. Over the course of his career, he has accumulated 622 home runs and 3,082 hits while slashing .302/.382/.554 in his 18 seasons. He has three MVP awards to his name and numerous top 5 finishes for the award as well. He is one of the best hitters of his generation...there is no question there.
Unfortunately, the Angels signed him to a massive contract right as injuries began to take their toll on Pujols. While he has managed to stay on the field for the most part, injuries, in particular to his foot and knee, have sapped Pujols of his former hitting prowess in recent years as Father Time finally caught up with Albert. Now, it appears that Pujols’ season is going to be cut short.
Albert Pujols underwent successful arthroscopic debridement of his left knee earlier today. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. A general timetable to return to playing following this procedure is 6-8 weeks. Updates will be provided when appropriate.— Angels (@Angels) August 30, 2018
Pujols has crossed the 600 homer and 3,000 hit thresholds in the last two seasons, but he is far from the same player he once was. In 117 games in 2018, Pujols has slashed .245/.289/.411 with 19 home runs which is in line with what he has been producing over the last three seasons or so.
While the procedure itself does not appear to be a serious one, with Pujols’ struggles in recent years combined with the fact that is 38 years old...one wonders how much longer we will see him as a regular, every day player even as a DH. He is owed $87 million total over the next three years which might influence that decision one way or another.