Heading into his third year with the Los Angeles Angels, first baseman Albert Pujols had his eye set on redeeming the disappoint of last season. However, he has not met those self-set expectations.
Through three games this season, it has been a slow start for Pujols as he is batting .167 (2-of-12) with no home runs, one RBI, one run scored and three strikeouts. This includes striking out once in each game and going 0-for-4 in the series finale on Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners.
His rough start to year may be partly due to rust. He missed the last two months of last season because of a torn plantar fascia in his left foot. However, the 34-year-old did play well in this year’s Spring Training, hitting .321 with one home run, nine RBIs and 11 runs scored.
That said, it is going to take a while for Pujols to truly regain some of the form that helped land him a lucrative 10-year, $254 million contract with the Angels. Before anybody can count out the former three-time NL MVP, they must remember that the injury he suffered was one that had hampered him for the past several years and came to a head at the start of last season as he had pain from plantar fasciitis in left foot.
Pujols has struggled with his power as some of the balls that he normal drives out of the park will stay in the field of play, just like the RBI double he hit in Monday’s season opener. Yes, his overall numbers will suffer in the meantime, but that won’t stop him from being an efficient player.
The nine-time All-Star is still trying to get his body back to where it was prior to the injury, and once he feels that he is at the point where he needs to be physically, his production will pick up as a result. Behind Mike Trout, Pujols is arguably the Angels’ most important player as the ball club will only go so far without his production. His start through three games this season has shown that.