Found June 20, 2013 on
MLB Injury News:
The St. Louis Cardinals were faced with a difficult decision when first baseman Albert Pujols reached free agency. Considering his performance -- or lack thereof -- so far with the Los Angeles Angels, it would appear that they made a wise decision letting him walk. Whatever the case, Pujols still believes he can return to the player he once was, as he told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that he feels like his old self.
Pujols could be heard recently telling 20-year-old superstar Mike Trout to watch out, adding "I'm back now." He feels right after battling through knee issues and a plantar fascia injury, and he's a lot more confident at the plate after making slight adjustments.
"I trusted myself, like, 'OK, this is you, don't worry
about the results, just take it with you," Pujols said. "I hit a home
run the next day against Ryan Dempster [on June 9]. I made good contact in
Boston. I didn't get that many hits, but I felt like I made good contact -- I
hit some bullets. I did the same thing in Baltimore and I was like, 'OK,' and
then I got my three hits against the Yankees [on June 14]. I'm going to stick
with that approach that I had."
With the adjustments, Pujols is experiencing less pain in his knee. He's still dealing with plantar fasciitis, but he's no longer using his surgically-repaired right knee to compensate for the pain he experiences in his foot.
While he feels as good as he has since joining the Angels, Pujols isn't satisfied.
"But I still feel like I can do a little bit better
with it," Pujols said. "It's just part of making adjustments, and
never feeling satisfied with what you do."
Pujols still isn't where he wants to be as far as his season totals go. On the year he's hit .263/.334/.453 with 16 doubles and 12 home runs. Still, he's shown improvement over the last week, collecting 10 hits in his last 25 at-bats with one home run, two doubles, three runs scored, four RBI and four walks.
Do you think Pujols -- who's owed another $212 million through 2021 -- can return to something close to what he was with the Cardinals? Or are the Angels in store for a long eight years?
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