Albert Pujols visit to the Disabled List is not quite a disaster - 2013 is a lsot season and his Plantar Fascitis will finally get the attention it needs. Additionally there is lots of rest that he usually would not be getting.
For hardcore Angels fans interested in the scope of franchise history, the disabled list visit allows us to look at the stats Albert has accrued and see how they stack up with similar Angels who accrued the same amount of playing time. This usually can only be done in the offseason, as Baseball Reference dot com updates stats every day. Only in the off-season and during extended disabled list stays does time, in the form of accruing stats, not march on.
Albert is now ranked 89th all time in Angels history for Plate Appearances with 1,113 after Thursday's game. This is nothing special in and of itself but a quick look at the all time franchise rankings on Baseball Reference shows that he ranks within ten plate appearances of two former Angels that were also two of the all time greatest baseball bats to ever play the game.
Bobby Bonds and Dave Winfield spent two seasons under the Halo. With 60 games left in his second season, Pujols has 1,113 Plate Appearances when he went on the disabled list for the rest of 2013. Bonds had 1,106 PA in 1976 and 1977 here in Anaheim and Winfield had 1,103 PA in his 1990 and 1991 seasons here as illustrated in this screengrab from BBREF:
Albert played in 152 games last year and has played in almost all of the team's games this season. Bonds played in 99 games in 1976 after coming here in and offseason trade. He made up for it with a 158-Game 1977 season after which he was traded to the White Sox. After missing all of 1989 with an injury, Winfield was traded to the Angels for Mike Witt in 1990 after playing 20 games in pinstripes. He played in 112 games that year and 150 in 1991.
Bonds was an Angel in his Age 30 and 31seasons
Winfield was an Angel in his Age 38 and 39 seasons
Pujols has played his Age 32 and 33 seasons here and has eight more left.
Let's compare their numbers as Angels, shall we.
The first thing that stick out is that with the same number of plate appearances within ten PA these three greats each hit exactly 47 homeruns. While RBI as as a stat is unreliable because it only tells us how good of a team the player was on to populate the bases ahead of him, Albert and Bonds are tied with 169 RBI and Winfield is only eleven back with 158. While a player has slightly more control over Runs Scored, it still tells us moe about the team the paleyr was on and where he was in the lineup. Bobby Bonds was a speedy top of the order hitter and scored 13 more runs than WInfield and 17 more than Pujols.
DOUBLES: Pujols has over twice the number of doubles as Bonds hit (69 to 33) and 24 more than Winfield's 45.
WALKS: Bonds has 23 more walks than A.bert (115 to Pujols' 92 BB as an Angel) and Winfield is 12 ahead of him with 104.
TRIPLES: Albert has yet to hit one as an Angel. Maybe his foot surgery will fix that. Bonds had 12 and Winfield had six in the same number of PA - one of Dave's triples was in a game in which he hit for the cycle at age 39!
STOLEN BASES: Here Bobby is far and away the leader - just a year younger than Albert in each of his two seasons he stole 71 bags. Albert has 9 and Dave had 7.
STRIKEOUTS: Bonds had 100 more Ks than Pujols: 231 to 131. Winfield had 46 more at 177.
TRIPLE SLASH: The OB% of each of these greats is with .005 - Albert being the median at .338, Dave below at .335 and Bobby up at .340. Albert is helped by his power though for the superior .275/.338/.485 and those hundred more Ks hurt Bonds as his average is eleven points lower with fewer doubles adding up to a .264.,340/.468 and Winfield at .268/.335/.469
OPS: The On-Base Percentage plus the Slugging numbers for each are .823 for Pujols and .808 for Bonds with Winfield at .805. Adjusted for the seaosns they played, park factors and the league strengths of each era, their OPS+ rankings put Pujols and Bonds in a tie at 130 and Winfeild down at a 124 OPS+
Considering that Winfeld was seven years older than Albert and eight years older than Bobby in their separate times as Angels players, Winfield's numbers may be the most impressive here. He left the Angels and helped win the 1992 World Series with Toronto the next season at age 40. Bonds was traded and had two good seasons but as his speed faded, so did he - but he brought Bryan Downing to the Angels as a return from that deal, so his value to the club had an inestimable impact.
Albert will likely get healthy and produce at this clip or better for years to come. But it is fascinating how similar his production was to two baseball greats while each of them wore a Halo.
Stats from Baseball Reference Dot Com - Sean Forman belongs in the Hall of Fame for transforming our understanding of the game and its history like no other individual.