Ah, the beauty of the American League. Because of the designated hitter, American League teams often have to shift
their lineup around when interleague play starts. Such is the case with the Angels. According to ESPN Los Angeles’ Mark Saxon, Albert Pujols will play third base occasionally. To accommodate designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who can play first base, the Angels will have Albert Pujols play third when they travel to National League parks during the interleague schedule.
Pujols has actually played third base in his career, including one game this season for the Angels. He has played a total of 104 games at third base in his career, and he owns a fielding percentage of .931 at the position.
Kendrys Morales has played a total of 284 games at first base in his career. He is a lifetime .994 fielder at the position and his DRS (defensive runs saved) sits at 19. However, Morales hasn’t played first base since 2010. He has been used exclusively as a designated hitter this season, and he missed all of last season after breaking his leg.
The Angles have numerous options at first base with the addition of Albert Pujols in the offseason. Both Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo were the club’s two first basemen previously. Now, both have been bumped to make room for Pujols. Yet, Pujols doesn’t seem to mind playing other positions:
It doesn’t make any difference, man. You know, I was a shortstop. My dad and everybody’s always saying, ‘If you can play shortstop, you can play any position.’
The Angels will play back-to-back road series in National League parks where Pujols figures to get extended time at third base. They will face the Rockies in Denver and the Dodgers back in L.A.