St. Louis Cardinals now have path to bring Albert Pujols back – Call To The Pen

Sep 9, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols (55) looks on from the dugout during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Ever since Albert Pujols stated his desire to play in 2022, it was expected that the St. Louis Cardinals would try to find a way to bring him back. He is still beloved in the city, and the Cardinals are quite cognizant of their history. When Pujols does decide to retire, it should be after a final season with the bird on a bat on the front of his jersey.
But that was easier said than done. Pujols is strictly a first baseman, and Paul Goldschmidt is entrenched at the position. However, if the designated hitter were to come to the National League, Pujols would have a possible spot with the Cardinals.
That will be the case beginning in 2022. As part of his press conference on Thursday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that the universal DH will be in place for the coming season. It was really only a matter of time before this happened.
The universal DH is also exactly what Pujols needs to continue his career. While he was once a solid defensive first baseman, winning two Gold Glove awards and ranking third all time with 99 zone runs saved at the position, he just cannot move any longer.
Pujols’ bat is also not what it once was. He had become a disaster with the Angels, being released part way through the 2021 campaign. Once he was claimed by the Dodgers, Pujols began to show signs of competence again, posting a 101 OPS+ while hitting 12 homers in his 204 plate appearances.
These days, teams would need to pick their spots if they are putting Pujols in the lineup. He can still be a dangerous power bat against left handed pitching, serving in a platoon role or as a pinch hitter late in the game. There is still enough thump in the bat for Pujols to be useful in the right situation.
But it also comes down to whether or not another team will give him that farewell tour. Teams want a lot more versatility on the bench these days, and an aged slugger with limited options such as Pujols may not be overly attractive. That is, unless he has been a major part of the team’s history and there is a potentially open spot on the roster.
The universal designated hitter is coming to baseball. With that, the St. Louis Cardinals have a path to bring Albert Pojuls back home.
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