Albert Pujols is rekindling some of the vintage magic with the Dodgers that made him one of the most terrifying hitters in all of baseball over a decade ago.
No, he’s not the perennial MVP candidate that he once was during his years with the St. Louis Cardinals, but his impact remains profound and aligns perfectly with the type of ball that the scorching hot Blue Crew demands, says manager Dave Roberts.
“With our club, the bar is high and it’s supposed to be high when you play for the Dodgers,” Roberts said. “When you have Albert, what he’s done, what he does in the clubhouse, it makes sense.”
In the Dodgers matinee against the New York Mets on Saturday, Pujols, sporting his royal blue “Los Dodgers” city connect jersey, unloaded on a fastball for his 677th career dinger, bringing him inches closer to Alex Rodriguez on Major League Baseball’s all-time home run list.
It comes as great news to the Dodgers skipper that “Tio Albert’s” impact extends well beyond the playing fields. Though Roberts is not surprised to see Pujols’ productivity in his limited role with the team either.
“To play for our club, we expect performance so that was the bet,” Roberts said. “So to know that and to expect him to come in here and impact our club offensively and to see it play out as such is great. In the clubhouse, what he’s done for some veteran guys, younger players, pitchers, relievers, all of the above, he’s impacted in some way shape or form.
While his role is marginal, don’t allow the future Hall of Famer’s role to be mistaken for obsolete.
“He’s been a game changer,” Roberts said.
Pujols is hitting .243 with 15 homers and 45 RBI’s on the year with the Dodgers and Angels.