Oct 16, 2009, 1:10 PM EDT
Albert Pujols declined to undergo Tommy John surgery last winter and there’s no indication that he’ll opt for the procedure this offseason, but he is scheduled to have his injured right elbow examined next week by Dr. James Andrews.
Tommy John surgery is much easier on hitters than pitchers, but Pujols would still be facing 6-8 months of rehab that would likely sideline him well into next season. In other words, expect him to continue playing through the pain.
“It’s definitely something we’re aware of and are keeping tabs on,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “This isn’t a new condition, but it is something all of us want to monitor.”
Pujols went homerless in his final 89 at-bats, which is a career-long drought, but has insisted that the injury wasn’t to blame. However, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch notes that “weight training causes the right elbow more discomfort than baseball-related activities” and “an abbreviated weight program contributed to Pujols’ thickening waist as the season progressed.”
In addition to the season-ending drought, Pujols homered once every 17.4 at-bats overall in the second half after going deep once every 9.6 at-bats before the All-Star break. Of course, along with the drop in power he still hit .322/.427/.582 in the second half and .357/.440/.616 in September, which is why he’s the best baseball player on the planet.
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