Los Angeles Angels president John Carpino told reporters on Thursday Pujols is still “passionate about continuing to play.” Luckily for him, there’s bound to be interest from teams in need of a designated hitter.
Pujols’ days as a first baseman are probably in the books. He struggled at the position for the Angels, especially this season. It’s a probably a big reason why Los Angeles moved on from the sure-to-be Hall-of-Famer on Thursday. Throw in the facts Pujols has struggled at the plate and Jared Walsh has been a revelation for the Angels and it’s easy to understand why Pujols will no longer don the red and white in Anaheim.
A fresh opportunity on a team with a hole at DH could be a perfect opportunity for Pujols, who’s looking to finish strong at the tail-end of his career.
“Albert is passionate about continuing to play,” Carpino said. https://t.co/daQGeQb9XB
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) May 6, 2021
On the Angels’ side of things, it’s pretty understandable as to why they moved on from Albert Pujols at this point in the season. It comes down to two players: Jared Walsh and Shohei Ohtani.
Walsh, who’s just 27 years old, is batting .333 with six homers and team-leading (tied) 22 RBI in 28 games this season. The Angels couldn’t afford to leave Walsh on the bench and give Pujols the nod at first.
Ohtani, meanwhile, is finally becoming the breakout two-way star everyone expected to manifest years ago. On the days before and after Ohtani pitches, he’s been slotted in the DH role, once again taking time away for Pujols.
Another answer to the "what changed" part of the Albert Pujols equation: Shohei Ohtani.
Back in February the Angels had no idea that Ohtani would be able to DH the day before and after he pitched and hit when he pitched. All of that ate up a lot of potential Pujols DH games.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) May 6, 2021
The bottom line is the Angels don’t have a need for Pujols any longer. But there are still plenty of other teams in need of a veteran DH.