St. Louis Cardinals and Albert Pujols – a response


My colleague Steve Ungrey wrote earlier today about whether or not the St. Louis Cardinals miss first baseman Albert Pujols.

I’d like to respond to that.

The day that Albert Pujols left the Cardinals organization for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was a sad day for Cardinal Nation.

It may have been a good day for Pujols’ wallet but the facts are facts: The Cardinals just didn’t have the money to give Pujols for such a lengthy deal, especially when he was on the decline.

It can be said time and time again: the Cardinals don’t draft Michael Wacha or Stephen Piscotty during the 2012 MLB Draft without their preceding moves and decisions.

Well, I suppose they could have but who knows. They were the two players taken with the compensation picks given to the Cardinals for Pujols and this is something that will stay with them for the rest of their respective playing careers.

Entering Tuesday night’s game, Pujols was hitting .265/.333/.552 with a league-leading 23 home runs and 48 RBI during the 2015 season.

With 543 home runs, Pujols now ranks 16th all-time in home runs for his career. Passing Manny Ramirez at 555 career home runs for 14th all-time is doable this season.

The question is whether or not he passes Reggie Jackson‘s 563 career homers. It’s possible that Pujols can hit another 20 home runs. A 40-home run season is not out of the question.

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Pujols finished the month of June with 13 home runs, one of his best single-month outputs in some time.

The other day, Hall of Fame baseball writer Rick Hummel wrote that Pujols has punched his Hall of Fame ticket.

This is probably true but I feel that Pujols punched it a few seasons ago. Right now, the future Hall of Famer is only padding his career statistics.

"Reminiscent of some of his greatest months as a Cardinal, Pujols, before the weekend, had slugged 12 homers and driven in 24 runs while batting .333 in the first 22 games of June. Counting the final four games of May, he had 15 homers and 30 RBIs in a 26-game span."

Hummel goes on to make his column about active players and their chances for the Hall of Fame including Miguel Cabrera (no-brainer), Ichiro Suzuki (no-brainer) and David Ortiz (being a DH hurts his chances).

Either way, one thing is clear – the Pujols signing (or lack thereof) altered St. Louis Cardinals history forever.

Next: Could Cardinals Wainwright return this season?