Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Frequent L.A. Reliever Expresses Desire to Allow Pujols’ 700th Homer

Among the 14 pitchers currently on the Dodgers roster, their 11th-most used reliever is not a reliever at all, but Hanser Alberto, a utility bench player.

On Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, Alberto was miked up with the broadcast booth, and he was (as always) a pure delight. Interspersed between the conversation with Karl Ravech, David Cone, and Eduardo Perez, Alberto even did some play-by-play en español.

But perhaps the most notable part of the interview was when the group was discussing Alberto’s frequent pitching exploits. Ravech asked Hanser if he’s the National League version of Shohei Ohtani, and Alberto’s response was classic:

“Yeah, kind of, but he throws a little bit harder than I do. But I still make the outs, I think I put the ball in the right spot, so I get a lot of weak contact. I only throw 65.”

After correcting Ravech, who incorrectly said Hanser had pitched seven times this year — “Eight! I got the record, come on, man!” — Alberto said he hopes to get two more innings to get to 10 on the season. And he specified one particular appearance he’d like to make:

“I want to face (Albert) Pujols, you know? I wish he’d hit 700 against me.”

Former Dodger Albert Pujols, of course, is sitting on 698 career home runs right now, and his Cardinals come into L.A. for a three-game series this weekend. The Dodgers have already clinched the NL West and have a firm hold on the best record in baseball, and if Alberto gets in a game to pitch, it will be because the game is out of hand, one way or the other. With Hanser, that is usually out of hand in favor of the Dodgers; seven of his eight appearances this year have come in Dodgers win, by far the most ever for a position player pitching.

So if Hanser gets in a game and Pujols comes to the plate sitting on 699, it would be a pretty cool moment for everyone if Pujols hits the milestone at Dodger Stadium.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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