Albert Pujols had a very good year in 2016, but it was cut short due to a nagging foot condition called plantar fasciitis which cause Pujols considerable pain in the second half of the season. The pain became too much, so Pujols ended his season a week early.
Two months after the season ended Albert Pujols had surgery to alleviate the pain in his foot and was told the recovery time will be around four months. With that being said Pujols will almost assuredly start the 2017 on the disabled list. So the question becomes who will pick up the slack if Pujols has to miss extended time?
As for physically replacing Albert Pujols in the line-up the Angels would probably use a righty/lefty platoon of Jefry Marte and newly acquired Luis Valbuena could fill the designated hitter spot for the time Pujols is out.
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Now as far as the clean-up spot the Angels could try a few different people in that role. The most likely candidate would be C.J. Cron as he can hit for both power and a good average. The Angels could also put Valbuena in the 4th spot as he is a left-handed bat with some pop. The other possible, but less likely options would be Mike Trout and also Jefry Marte. Trout could probably be good anywhere you put him, but he is probably best at #3 in the line-up. Marte could be a good option in the #4 hole against lefties.
Hopefully Pujols will not be out of the line-up for more than a few weeks. I think in the short-term the above-mentioned group will be able to hold down the DH and clean-up spot.
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Another plus for the Angels is the depth that has been created by the off-season moves that general manager Billy Eppler has made. The Angels now have a much stronger bench with players like Valbuena, Revere/Maybin, and Jefry Marte to use.
Valbuena provides a left-handed bat with some pop who could be used at 1st or 3rd, or even DH. Marte could play 1st, 3rd, or LF.
With all these options Angels manager Mike Scioscia can surely find the right combination for the short-term. All I can say though is I hope to see you back soon Albert, you will be missed until you’re back soon.