Albert Pujols is impacting the St. Louis Cardinals in more ways than one – Red Bird Rants

Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates with with Dylan Carlson #3 and Tyler O’Neill #27 after hitting a home run in the third inning of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on April 17, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
When the St. Louis Cardinals signed Albert Pujols, they expected him to contribute to the major-league roster. So far, he has done just that, as he is hitting .389 with two home runs and four RBI while seeing the majority of his at-bats against left-handed pitchers and soft-tossing right-handers.
But Pujols has impacted the Cardinals in other ways, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic spoke to a team executive who said: “I’m not sure where we would be without him.”
The executive said that comment not only applies to Pujols on the field, but off it as well. He has emerged as a leader in St. Louis, essentially picking up where he left off from his previous tenure, with Nolan Arenado telling Rosenthal: “He has been leading our meetings, speaking up, checking us, making sure we are ready to go, reminding us of certain things before we step on the field. It’s been really great.”
The early results make Pujols’ one-year, $2.5 million contract look like a potential bargain. Of course, we are only 10 games into the regular season, so things can change quickly. But neither the Cardinals or Pujols could have asked for a better start to his second stint in St. Louis as the future Hall of Famer closes the final chapter on his Hall of Fame career.
It only makes the Cardinals that much more dangerous. Last year, they lacked quality offensive depth, and it showed throughout the season and even in the wild card game against the Dodgers. With Pujols, they have a proven commodity who thrived in a very similar role last season with the Dodgers, and it provides optimism that what we are seeing is a sign of things to come.
If that’s indeed the case, the Pujols signing was a stroke of genius by president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and manager Oli Marmol. So far, it already looks like it is.
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