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Albert Pujols is able to run the bases on his own now

Mar 13, 2013, 9:47 PM EDT

pujols getty Getty Images

FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi explains it all:

Albert Pujols is back on the bases.

Pujols, who underwent offseason right knee surgery, played in only his fourth Cactus League game Wednesday against the San Diego Padres. But it represented a landmark of sorts: Pujols ran the bases for the first time, rather than exiting for a designated runner, as had been the arrangement for his first three games.

Pujols had that knee procedure in mid-October after posting the worst OPS (.859) and OPS+ (141) of his career in 2012. He is fully expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, but you’ll probably see him at DH much more regularly in 2013. Pujols, 33, is still owed $228 million from the Angels (if you include the 10-year, $10 million personal services contract that will click in after he officially hangs up his cleats).

  1. asimonetti88 - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Great news. Hopefully he can get off to a better start than he did last year.

  2. rcali - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    $228 for a DH who can’t run the bases. Wow. This deal is going to make the A-Rod contract look like a good deal.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I like how the story projects and image of someone carrying him to first base.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:34 AM

      I had a mental image of him starting out with a walker and then tossing it aside to take off jogging.

  4. losanginsight - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    This contract is going to put the jalos in the same situation that NYY is in.

    • albertmn - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Except for the fact that both of those teams practically print money, so while expensive and possibly mistakes, either of those teams can just pay it and not feel any real regret while still making money.

  5. atltoarizona - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    He can run the bases on his own now? Was he being pushed around the bases in a wheelchair before?

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:55 PM

      I viewed it more as a Weekend At Bernie’s scenario with him betwixt Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman.

  6. stex52 - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    C’mon Albert! He’s on my fantasy team, and I paid full price.

    • cur68 - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      Heh, heh, heh….

    • phatnate - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Ha…I got him with 18th pick in my league..I paired him Miguel Cabrera the 3rd pick…How is that for a pair of corner infielders for a fantasy team?

      • albertmn - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Nobody cares about your fantasy team.

    • jeffa43 - Mar 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      You bash the Astros clear progress, and you add Puhols to your fantasy team….
      All while claiming to be an Astro fan.

      That does not sit well with me or the other 5 remaining Astro fans.
      We kindly ask you to change your handle from Stex, to Stloui.

      You are not the fan we are looking for.

  7. indaburg - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Aw, Pujols a big boy now! He can run bases all on his own.

  8. dowhatifeellike - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    So he could run down to first but not the rest of the way? Either they’re babying him or the doctor who half-cleared him is an idiot.

  9. rynev - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    That 141 OPS+ that was the worst season of his career is same as the career OPS+ for Chipper Jones. Only 8 other active players have an OPS+ of 141 or above (min 1000 PAs) for their career. It’s worth remembering that Albert at his worst (so far) is still really freakin’ good.

    • ptfu - Mar 14, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      It was one awful month (April), two decent months (May, Sept), and three incredible months (June, July, Aug). The dude can still hit.

    • cktai - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:54 AM

      The problem with Pujols is that he is compared to Pujols, and everyone, even Pujols, struggles in a comparison with Pujols.

    • paperlions - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:36 AM

      Completely true, but OPS+ is a pretty crappy metric as it weights SLUG far too heavily. If you use wRC+ (which more properly weights OBP and adjusts for park effects), Pujols had a still very solid 132, which is not as good as Chipper’s career 141 wRC+.

      Yep, he is still really freaking good, just not the best hitter in baseball anymore.

  10. johnnyb1976 - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Give him a cane already.

  11. pxeeks - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    I can’t believe they paid a 33 yr old that kind of money. Worse deal ever. I could c if he was Trout then ok.

    • cfd189 - Mar 15, 2013 at 3:59 AM

      Says a guy who can’t even use proper English. Why would you pay someone more money than is required? And Trout had an amazing year, 1 year. Lets see h repeat it before we break the bank for him.

      • cfd189 - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:01 AM

        *Him

  12. michaeljacksonisback - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    In other news…Allan Craigh is very health and running great for the cardinals!

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Absolutley MJ. Allen Craig can flat out hit. He has hit at every level.
      If there is one thing he can do…it’s hit. And run the bases (as you mentioned).
      If anyone needs to know one thing about Allen Craig…it’s his impressive ability to hit a baseball.
      Wait….I think we covered this a week or so ago. If not…you should know Allen Craig can hit.

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