It seems like every year about this time we are writing about Albert Pujols‘ poor start to another season. In Albert Pujols’ six years with the Angels he has only one season where he batted over .250 in April which was a .280 average in 2014.
In 2017 it has been more of the same story as Albert Pujols is hitting .177 so far this April with 10 games left this month. Pujols has had some timely hits though hitting a home run and two-run game-tying single in the Angels monumental seven-run ninth inning rally against Seattle.
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Pujols then drove in Mike Trout in the following game against Texas to cap a late five-run rally. Pujols hit tied the game at five with two outs in the ninth inning in a game the Angels would win in the 10th inning.
On Wednesday with the Angels needing something to break their six game losing streak and Pujols came through again. Pujols smashed his 593rd career home run off of Houston’s Joe Musgrove in the top of the 5th inning. It was a three-run homer that left Hoston’s Minute Maid Park and travelled over 470 feet to give the Angels a 5-2 lead which would hold up to snap the losing streak.
However, for the most part Pujols’ bat has been very quiet as evidence by his .518 OPS. Pujols is 11 for 62 with two homers and 11 RBI’s but has only struck out 11 times which means he has been making contact, but has just not had much fall in for him thus far.
The good thing for Angels fans is that as bad as Pujols is during April, he is just as good in May with his batting average being .270 or more every year with the team except on where he batted .240 in May of 2013.
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Part of the problem is the Angels struggle to find someone in their batting order that can hit behind Albert consistently. C.J. Cron and Jefry Marte as well as Kole Calhoun have all had turns hitting behind “The Machine” and have failed to produce enough for Pujols to get good pitches to hit.
Luis Vabuena was signed as a free agent over the Winter in hopes of providing a left-handed bat with power that could protect Pujols. However Valbuena has yet to play due to a hamstring injury that will keep him out until at least early May.
However, in my opinion Pujols will heat up and have another good year for the Angels. Only time will tell.