According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (via Twitter):
“Albert Pujols will be out “a significant amount of time,” Scioscia said, possibly the rest of the season.”
Pujols is currently hitting .258 with 17 HR, 64 RBI and 49 R over 391 AB. He has been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, which likely had an impact on his performance.
Pujols clearly isn’t the same player that he once was, though you have to wonder how much the injury factored into his poor production this season. He just wasn’t generating power (11.8% HR/FB) and he was also struggling with balls put in play (.258 BABIP). He also was always able to chip in a little bit in the stolen base department, but he had just 1.
Mark Trumbo was manning first base yesterday, though that hasn’t been uncommon this season (68 games played). With him sticking at 1B, the question is who is going to play the OF and how does the batting order now fallout.
Yesterday they had J.B. Shuck at DH and hitting atop the order, though it’s hard to imagine that sticking for too long. He offers no power and has never stolen more than 22 bases in a season. As soon as Peter Bourjos is healthy, he should step back into the leadoff spot and is definitely a player worth stashing thanks to his 10/30 potential.
Mike Trout assumed the role of #3 hitter, which is nice to see but really doesn’t impact his value. He’s one of the elite and it doesn’t matter if he’s hitting first, second or third. He’s going to produce regardless.
One of the team’s top prospects, Kole Calhoun, was recalled to take Pujols’ spot on the roster and got the start in RF. He was hitting .354 with 12 HR, 49 RBI, 48 R and 10 SB in 240 AB at Triple-A this season. He had been hot at Triple-A recently, including a 3 HR game on July 23.
Prior to the season we ranked him as the team’s fourth best prospect for 2013 saying:
“The Angels outfield is already crowded, but Calhoun has the potential to be the Angels fifth outfielder on Opening Day and overtake Vernon Wells for the first backup. He offers a little power (14 HR) and a little speed (12 SB), but he doesn’t appear to be more than a reserve player.”
Obviously the opportunity is now there (with Vernon Wells in NY and Mark Trumbo now locked into 1B), but he still doesn’t appear to be more than a 10/10 type of player and he’s no lock to maintain regular AB (he’ll likely split AB with Shuck, barring an acquisition, once Bourjos is healthy). He’s more of an AL-only option at this point.