It’s been a rough start to the 2020 season for Albert Pujols. Entering Saturday’s game, Pujols has a slash of .186/.238/.356/.594. He has three homers, eight runs driven in and one double. Although he’s struggling with the bat, manager Joe Maddon is confident that his slugger will be able to figure things out at the plate.
“He and I have talked a lot,” Maddon said. “He’s had some pretty good games recently. He’s constantly working. We have a strong line of communication. We’ll keep working on it. His desire is as great as it was 20 years ago. He hasn’t lost desire to do this. We’ll keep working with him.”
He’s right. Pujols did have a recent stretch with a few multi-hit games. Though it’s not much of a sample size, but he’s been hitting .261 over the last week, and overall he’s looked much better at the plate compared to the first two weeks of the season.
The Angels don’t need the Pujols from 10 years ago. However if he’s able to bring that average an on-base percentage up, he can be a great bat to have in the back half of the starting lineup.
News and notes
- Andrelton Simmons has still yet to return from the Injured List. “Haven’t heard back yet,” Maddon said when asked about Simmons. “The word is sore. That’s the word I keep hearing. It’s one of those things you don’t get a good read on. You normally have to wait until the next day. The more important thing is when he shows up tomorrow, how does he feel.”
- It’s been a strange season for Anthony Rendon so far. He’s hitting .192, but has an on-base percentage of .425. In addition, his OPS is .925. He’s been swinging a much better bat as of late, as over his last four games he’s hitting .462. “He’s not missing his pitch,” Maddon said when asked about his hot stretch. “He was missing his pitch. He’s not missing the pitches he had been missing. Thats what a good hitter does.”
- Jo Adell will be back in the lineup tomorrow. Maddon wanted to make sure Taylor Ward gets some at-bats.
- Jason Castro was supposed to be in the lineup tonight but was scratched with neck stiffness. Maddon doesn’t think it will require an IL stint.
- The Angels also announced some roster moves
ROSTER MOVES:— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) August 16, 2020
•LHP Ryan Buchter – Optioned to Alternate Training Site
•C Anthony Bemboom – Recalled from Alternate Training Site