ST. LOUIS - Watch Albert Pujols run and you don't need to be a podiatrist to see that his legs aren't right. His discomfort is that noticeable.
But watch him hit and his foot ailments aren't so obvious -- unless you're a veteran scout who has been watching Pujols for the past 13 years. Then you can begin to see why Pujols is hitting only .247, 74 points below his career batting average.
When Pujols is right, he uses his front foot as a pivot, "like a hinge," the scout says. He rotates his front foot as a pitch approaches and his weight is shifting. He doesn't typically lift his front foot off the ground.
But if you watched Cardinals-Angels Tuesday night, you might have noticed that Pujols actually lifted his front foot on some swings. This likely is to avoid the discomfort he feels when he pivots on his front foot.
The lifting of his front leg, however, also reduces his ability to hit as effectively.
"It creates a balance problem," the scout says.
One of Pujols' greatest st...