Last week Angels manager Mike Scioscia indicated that the team wouldn’t rush Albert Pujols back from foot surgery just to have him in the Opening Day lineup, but today the future Hall of Famer said he’s still hoping to begin the season on the active roster.
Pujols told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that despite the November surgery he was able to “get in the weight room a lot” all offseason and hopes that will help him stay healthy. He added that if shifting to designated hitter rather than first base allows him to get back into the lineup sooner and stay in the lineup more often he’d be willing.
I don’t really care about the DH or playing first base. I would love to play first base if I can, but I can’t be selfish. It depends how I feel.
Last season Pujols started 95 games at first base and 62 games at designated hitter. Since joining the Angels in 2012 he’s averaged about 50 games per year at DH. C.J. Cron and Daniel Nava are both perfectly capable of playing first base, so it might be time for Pujols to transition to full-time DH status at age 36.