The Los Angeles Angels are going make some noise in the AL West next season. There’s also a strong chance for a career milestone to be had as well.
The Los Angeles Angels upcoming season will prove exciting for fans. General manager Billy Eppler is improving the structural integrity of the Angels piece by piece. It’s almost ingenious how Eppler has molded this team during the off-season.
Still, within the Angels quest to regain the AL West is another solo mission. The mission of The Machine, the mission of acquiring one of Major League Baseball’s most coveted milestones. Angels slugger Albert Pujols is chasing the 3,000 hits club. A club which features 30 members, including former Angel Rod Carew (he converted).
Pujols currently has 2,825 hits for his career, just 175 hits away from 3,000. Last season, Pujols administered 159 hits, his career average is 189 hits a year. Now keep in mind, he played through pain in his right foot. So, there’s a chance he could accomplish 175 hits this season. Although the last time Pujols had more than 175 hits was 2010, he had 183 that year.
Pujols underwent surgery at last season’s end to repair plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The expected recovery time is said to be four months. That’s plenty of time for the slugger to be healthy and ready for Opening Day in early April.
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While many view Pujols as an aging player who isn’t what he used to be, The Machine still works. The Machine posted a surprising .268 average, 31 home runs, and 119 RBI’s in his fifth year as an Angel.
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The Angels will need Pujols’ production next season in the same way Pujols needs the Angels to continue to use him at the DH position. Pujols has even been mentoring first baseman, C.J. Cron, as his numbers improved last season.
Pujols is entering his 17th year as a major league player. While it’s unclear how much is left in the tank, you can bet Pujols will continue to produce for seasons to come.
As Spring Training approaches, it’s likely Pujols will skip the spring games and continue healing that right foot before the season gets started. Get the Latest Los Angeles Angels news and updates by following Halo Hangout on Twitter or the Halo Hangout section of the FanSided app.