Albert Pujols, and the DH …
Albert Pujols (.289/.431/.511) looks fine at the plate, but he still isn’t moving around that well. His surgically repaired right knee, coupled with the plantar fasciitis that has crept up once again, have limited his mobility, to the point where he isn’t covering much ground at first base and is picking his spots to run full speed on the bases.
Clearly, he isn’t himself, giving Mike Scioscia the daily dilemma of whether or not to start him at first base.
Scioscia’s logic so far has been simple:If Pujols feels up for playing first base on a given day, he’ll do so.
“We’re going to take opportunities to get him further along,” Scioscia said, “but when he feels good, he feels up to playing first base, we’re a better team with him at first base, so you want him out there as much as you can.”
Are they a better defensive team with a hobbled Pujols, rather than a healthy Mark Trumbo? That’s debatable.
Since the opening series under National League rules in Cincinnati, Pujols has split his time, starting five games at designated hitter and five games at first base.
Why not put him exclusively at DH until he fully heals?
“If that was something that we felt was going to move him forward with this, we would do it, but nobody feels that’s the course of action,” Scioscia said. “I think whether he’s DH’ing or whether he’s at first, there’s still a level of wear and tear that’s going to be on your body, unless you take 15 days off, which he doesn’t need.”