Former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols just can’t seem to put his streak of injuries behind him.
Limited to designated hitter duties in the last third of the 2015 campaign because of ongoing foot problems, Pujols, 35, has required off-season surgery on his right foot.
Pujols has had problems with plantar faciaitis in his feet dating back more than five years to his St. Louis days. In addition to his slowing bat, the lack of foot speed has caused the former perennial all-star to see a dramatic decline in production stats, especially on-base percentage.
The operation, according to reports, is expected to keep Pujols sidelined through most, if not all, of spring training. Pujols was adamant about wanting to avoid plantar surgery in his St. Louis days.
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Pujols, who has six years and $156 million left on the 10-year deal he took to defect from the Cardinals, hit 40 homers last year. But he saw his batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage continue their steady downhill slide.
He hit only .244 with a .307 on-base percentage and .480 slugging percentage. Over his career with St. Louis, Pujols was a .328 batter with an average of 40 homers, 117 runs scored and 121 RBIs. With Anaheim, he’s a .266 batter with an average of 29 homers, 77 runs scored and 92 RBIs.
Because of his late start to spring training, Pujols is expected to miss the start of the 2016 regular season.