LA Angels: Albert Pujols inches closer to Willie Mays, remains liability

Albert Pujols cracked another home run bringing him within two of tying Willie Mays, though continues to struggle with the bat.

The best-case scenario is Albert Pujols hits at a respectable clip and the Los Angeles Angels play competitive baseball. The worst case would be the Angels manage to win more than they lose and Pujols stacks up more outs than hits.

The most likely event to happen, the Angels continue to lose and Pujols struggles at the plate, though since the team doesn’t contend, they can leave him in the lineup to add to his career home run totals.

Pujols belted number 658 on Sunday bringing him within two of tying Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list.

He also struck twice and his batting average will sit at .143 when he steps to the plate for his next at-bat.

The Angels are now 3-7 and in the cellar of the American League West. Yes, Anthony Rendon missed the first few games, and true, Mike Trout is out on paternity leave. Once the gang can all be in the lineup together they may string a few wins together and make a run in this shortened season.

If they happen to do that, they will find themselves in quite a predicament if Pujols is not contributing.

Part of the irony is Pujols and his 10 YR/$240M contract, which has kept the Angels from being able to pay for any quality pitchers. Do the Angels dare continue to play Pujols if he continues to put up poor offensive numbers?

Pujols has just four hits in seven games this year, half of them home runs. There is no doubt he has etched his name into the record books and will go down as one of the best power hitters of all time.

If he hopes to continue to climb the all-time home run list he needs to mix in a few more base hits to give the Angels a reason to play him on an everyday basis. Will be hard for management to justify penciling his name on the lineup card if he can’t get his average above the Mendoza Line. The need to win will trump the satisfaction of personal glory.

My hope is when Trout returns, the team can start to gel a little better and the table setters put Albert Pujols in a position to see better pitches. I don’t want to see him limp across the finish line. He deserves to earn his place in history going out in a respectable manner.