Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  By L.A. TIMES  |  Last updated 10/28/13
ST. LOUIS -- Miguel Cabrera might be the best hitter in baseball, but the Angels might have someone just as good in their lineup next season. And, no, Tony La Russa was not talking about Mike Trout. For the first 11 years of his career, Albert Pujols played for La Russa and the St. Louis Cardinals. The two men remain close; La Russa said he spoke with Pujols last week and said the first baseman is in good health and good spirits. "All he has to do is be healthy," La Russa said Sunday, before Game 4 of the World Series. "If he's healthy, there will be no better hitter in either league. He didn't do this accidentally for 11 years." In the first two years of his 240-million contract with the Angels, Pujols has had the worst two seasons of his career. The three-time National League MVP played a career-low 99 games last year, hobbled by plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The inflamed tissue eventually tore, and Pujols and the Angels believe that should resolve the issue. Pujols will be 34 when next season opens. In 2009, the last of his MVP seasons, he batted .327 with 47 home runs, 135 runs batted in, and a 1.101 OPS. In 2011, his only full season with the Angels, he batted .285 with 30 homers, 105 RBI and an .859 OPS. His batting average, home run total and OPS have declined in each of the past four years. In Pujols' first two years with the Angels, Trout has established himself as the best hitter on the team, and one of the best hitters in the league. "Trout can be tied with Albert for best player," La Russa said. "Nothing wrong with being that good."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Broncos would be crazy to start Lynch over Siemian

Carr explains placing hand on Khalil Mack during anthem

Kinsler unapologetic over umpire protest: 'I don't care'

Ferry explains letting Duke unretire his jersey for Bagley

Jets ordered McCown not to talk to media after game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fugget about it: Christian Hackenberg isn't ready for the big stage

Jeffrey Loria says ‘no sadness’ about selling Marlins

MLB umpires wearing white wristbands to protest ‘escalating attacks’

Report: Ric Flair awake, communicating after surgery

NFLPA head says Roger Goodell ‘lied’ about drafting new personal conduct policy

Jeanie Buss compares Lonzo Ball to Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

Best of Yardbarker: NFL goes in on Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

Box Score 8/17: Interleague games bring the fireworks

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

The top 20 left-handed pitchers of all-time

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

The '27 up, 27 down' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker