I tweeted yesterday that maybe Albert Pujols is a machine? After suffering a broken wrist, Pujols took live batting practice for the first time since June 19th and will be in the starting lineup tonight against the Reds.
The club originally said that Pujols would be out until the early part of August, with a splint on his hand for four weeks before he would resume baseball activity. However, after just two weeks, Pujols is swinging the bat.
The biggest concern for re-injuring his wrist is not while batting, but playing the field and running the bases. His wrist will be heavily taped and he’ll wear a protective guard while running the bases in case he has to slide.
How will Pujols do at the plate? Pujols said when he was injured in 2006 and 2008, he came back and found hit timing and got on hot streaks. However, will this stint provide different results?
In 2006, he came back and hit in 9 of his first 11 games back, going 18 for 45 (.400) with three doubles, three homers and 8 RBIs. In 2008, he went 11 for 37 in his first 13 games back (.297) with three doubles, two homers and 6 RBIs.
This year, in the 17 games he’d played in during the month of June prior to the injury, Pujols was beginning to heat up. He raised his average 17 points and hit eight homers, almost as many as the nine he hit in the first two months of the season.
Pujols should return with minimal setbacks offensively. The fact he was able to come back after two weeks, proves the injury was not as severe as first thought. His wrist strength should not have been compromised too much, plus with Berkman and Holliday swinging well, pitchers will have to give Pujols better pitches to hit.