Albert Pujols struggled at the beginning of the 2012 season, but he figured things out about midway through the season. He finished with respectable numbers in his first season with his new team, the Los Angeles Angels. While Pujols did not suffer any significant injuries during the season, he did undergo minor knee surgery last week.
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the procedure was a minor arthroscopic procedure to clean up his knee. The surgery is not expected to affect his availability for spring training next season, and he should have a relatively normal offseason. Strauss said Pujols has already resumed his conditioning.
Pujols apparently had the procedure in St. Louis where he maintains an offseason home. Of course, Pujols spent his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals until this season. Pujols signed a 10-year contract with the Angels this past offseason. While the loss of Pujols meant the loss of a perennial All-Star and a future Hall of Famer, the Cardinals have managed well without him.
No matter how well the Cardinals do without Pujols, his production and skills cannot be denied. Pujols, ina down year this season, hit .285/.343/.516 with 30 home runs and 105 RBI. In his career, Pujols is a .325/.414/.608 hitter with 475 home runs. He has declined slightly in his past two seasons, but a decline for Pujols still puts him above 95% of the rest of the league.
The Angels had a disappointing season considering the moves they made in order to compete. However, in their second season with Pujols, it would not be surprising to see the team put things together. Pujols was adjusting in 2012, and as long as he is healthy in 2013, we should see him return to the machine-like players we've come to know.
var _gaq = _gaq || ;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script'); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);