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Albert Pujols in chase of 700 home runs: Check it all out

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Albert Pujols in chase of 700 home runs: Check it all out

Albert Pujols in chase of 700 home runs: Check it all out

The baseball gods have two exciting home run games in store for us in 2022. New York Yankees hitter Aaron Judge hit 61 home runs, an American League record set by Roger Maris. In the National League, St. Louis Cardinals legend and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols is approaching the hallowed milestone of 700 home runs.

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Puyols hit his 695th career homer on Sept. 4, the fourth-most in MLB history behind Alex Rodriguez. Pujols’ return to the Cardinals this season, 42, is more than a farewell tour. He’s been a prolific volleyball bat, recently making 700 home runs a real possibility with seven deep runs in 10 games. He beat left-hander Ross Detwyler on the 694th pitch, the 450th pitcher he won in his career. This broke Barry Bonds’ all-time record.

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Of course, Puyos would almost certainly hit his 700th homer had it not been for the truncated 2020 pandemic season, but that was out of his control.

So the question everyone is wondering is, can Pujols really hit 700 home runs by the end of the season? Here’s what you need to know about Pujols’ attempt to become the fourth member of the 700 Homer Club.

All-time home run leaderboard

Pujols currently ranks fifth on the all-time homer list, and considering his recent streak, he may soon be fourth. Only three hitters in history have hit 700 home runs:

  • Barry Bonds: 762
  • Hank Aaron: 755
  • Babe Ruth: 714
  • Alex Rodriguez: 696
  • Albert Pujols: 695 and on

For what it’s worth, Puyols has averaged one home run per 16.3 at-bats over his career, an all-time top-40 mark but lower than other senior power hitters. Mark McGwire is the all-time leader in home runs per 10.61 at-bats. Giancarlo Stanton is the leader among active players with 13.82 at-bats per home run.

Remember, if Pujols surpasses A-Rod on the career homer leaderboard, he’ll hold the all-time lead among infielders. Bonds, Aaron and Ruth are mostly outfielders. Pujols spent most of his career at first base. Jim Thome is the only major infielder with 600 career home runs. He is eighth on the all-time list with 612.

Historical relevance

The historical significance of 700 home runs is obvious. Only three players have made it, and no other player in our lives is likely to come close to this milestone. Unless Miguel Cabrera finds a source of youth and sticks to it for a few more years, the active player most likely to hit 700 home runs is… maybe Juan Soto? Earlier this season, he joined the 100-homer club at age 23, and he still has a long way to go. It’s not uncommon for a player to hit 700 home runs.

As some fans and parts of the media are used to, we can put an asterisk on just about everyone on the all-time home run list. Bonds are tied to performance-enhancing drugs. A-Rod admitted to using them for several seasons. Ruth played before integration. Aaron was racing when amphetamines, now a banned substance, were widely used throughout the game. Convincing evidence is lacking in any type of controversy involving Pujols. You can never be 100% sure, but Pujols and his reputation are pretty clean.

How often should he play?

At this stage of his career, Puyols is a lefty, and only one. It’s been a few years since he became a viable hitter against right-handers. The Cardinals realized this, and Puyos saw the southpaw hit more and more as the season went on.

Puyols has hit 12 of his 16 homers against the southpaw this season, including each of his past nine.

The Cardinals, who have one of baseball’s best records since the close, parted ways with the Brewers in the NL Central. The division is not over yet, but St. Louis is definitely the main force right now. On paper, the Cardinals have a favorable schedule in September (23 of their last 33 games have been against the Cubs, Nationals, Buccaneers, and Reds), so they may soon be with the NL Central run away together.

If the Cardinals start running away in the division, will they give Pujols more minutes against the right-hander, just to give him more at-bats and maximize his 700 home runs chance to fight? I think this is a real possibility. They know fans want to see it, and GM DH will allow the Pujols to play every game without the wear and tear of the field. There is also a cash register element. The chase will be successful in the seat, which means more revenue for the team.

For now, the Cardinals have committed to using only Pujols as drawbars against southpaws, and that practice should continue as long as the NL Central remains a real game. The ultimate goal is to win the World Series, and Puyols himself will tell you that the Cardinals should do everything they can to improve their World Series chances. That means pitting Puyols against the right, as that gives St. Louis the best chance of a division title. If the Cardinals take a big lead, hitting the right-hander more may be an effort to get Puyols to bite into as many apples as possible.

He’s still retiring

Back in spring practice, Pujols said he plans to retire after the season, but what if he ends the year with 699 home runs? He’ll definitely be back in 2023 to hit the milestone, right? Puyols insists he will retire at the end of the season. He repeated this to USA TODAY:

  • “Whether I end up with 693, 696, 700 or whatever, I’m still going to retire,” Puyols said. “I’m not going to get into numbers. If you wanted to tell me 22 years ago, I would have come this close, I would have told you you were crazy. My career has been incredible.”

  • “No, I’ve had enough,” he said. “I’m glad I announced this when I signed. Really, I’m not going to change anything.”

Not being the fourth player to hit 700 would certainly be a bit of a disappointment if Puyols finished the season with 699, but being the fourth to hit 699 doesn’t help. Not ashamed. Pujols has achieved everything players can achieve in this game. Hit 700 home runs would be the icing on the cake. If he gets there, great. If not, then it’s still a career to celebrate. The chase has officially started.

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He is the editor of River C Sports. Previously, he was editor-in-chief at other news sites . Rodrigo Baião has spent most of his career as editor-in-chief of various websites and has more than 7 years of experience in the industry.

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Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

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Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

Although no more serious negotiations have begun, the Boston Red Sox have noted the interest of other franchises in pitcher Chris Sale and have not ruled out involving him in a possible trade.

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Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that while the Red Stockings are not thinking of trading any of their starters, they may at least listen and consider offers for the members of the rotation, due to many options in the sector.

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However, if the team decides that Ace’s time in Boston is over, Sale can veto his fate and choose where he will go, since the no-trade clause in his contract gives him this possibility.

Should any team decide to take over the pitcher’s contract this offseason, they will secure his services for at least two more years, as Chris Sale becomes a free agent only in 2025.

Known for his excellent left-handedness, the athlete has a considerable history of physical problems. In addition to missing the entire already shortened 2020 season as a result of recovery from Tommy John surgery, Sale also took the field nine times the following year in uneven performances.

This season did not start in good shape for Sale either, who missed the start due to a rib injury during Spring Training. When he was healthy, he played only twice and fractured his little finger during an away game against the New York Yankees in July in his last performance. In addition, he broke his wrist riding a bicycle.

“You can’t make that up, right?” said Chaim Bloom, head of baseball operations for the Sox Kings. “We need to send some people after whoever is with Chris Sale’s voodoo doll and get it back.”

Sale was among the top six nominees for the Cy Young award between 2012 and 2018, receiving seven All-Star Game nominations, one World Series win, recording the record for unblemished innings with three (tied with Sandy Koufax and Max Scherzer) and owns a 5.33 strikeouts-to-walk average, the best mark in league history.

Taking into account his wins, but also the medical issue, Chris Sale will have to prove himself again as an elite pitcher who has made it through the injuries. If so, he is a powerful weapon on the mound, regardless of the uniform he wears.

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Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

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Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates and left-handed pitcher Rich Hill finalized terms on a one-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday (27), reported Jeff Passan of ESPN USA.

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Hill, 42, will be entering his 19th season in the MLB. He accumulated a 4.27 ERA with 109 strikeouts in 124.1 innings for the Boston Red Sox in 2022. Including, his last stint in Boston was his fourth with the team.

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Since 2015, when the lefty had a “resurgence” period in his career, he has maintained an average of 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings, along with a good 2.91 ERA (140 ERA+) and a 1.06 WHIP in 87 total games.

The veteran pitcher has also played for the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Guardians, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Mets during his long career.

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The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

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The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

The Mariners acquired Kolten Wong from the Brewers on Friday in exchange for outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro, filling a much-needed left-handed spot in their lineup.

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DETAILS OF THE TRADE

  • 2B for the Mariners Kolten Wong
  • Brewers are awarded: LF/DH INF Jesse Winker Toro, Abraham.

The Mariners will also receive $1.75 million to help offset Wong’s $10 million salary in 2023, when he will be a free agent. Winker is due $8.25 million in his final year before free agency, effectively a money and player swap for Seattle, while Toro is in his first year of arbitration as a Super Two player and won’t be a free agent until until 2026.

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Wong has been a Mariners goal since the team came short of signing him as a free agency ahead of the 2021 season, when Seattle offered a two-year deal but Milwaukee offered a third-year club option, which was the difference at the time, according to sources. The Mariners had inquired about Wong’s availability at the Trade Deadline the previous two seasons, but the competing Brewers were uninterested in moving him.

However, with numerous arbitration-eligible players set to receive raises this offseason, many in the business anticipated that the team might be willing to move some of its higher-priced players for payroll relief, prospect capital, and/or depth. Toro, a switch-hitting infielder with glimpses of good performance, provides longevity for the Brewers’ squad, while Winker, coming off a terribly disappointing season, returns to a division where he flourished with the Reds while facing the motivation of a contract year with the Brewers.

The Brewers activated Wong’s option last month instead of paying him a $2 million buyout, opening the door for him to be traded, which sparked interest from clubs other than Seattle, according to sources.

Wong, 32, is coming off what was maybe his greatest season at the plate, hitting.251/.339/.430 (.769 OPS) with a career-high 15 homers, 24 doubles, four triples, 47 RBIs, and 116 wRC+ (league average is 100) while collecting 2.5 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs.

Some of this was by purpose, with a more deliberate attempt to raise the ball higher. His line-drive and fly-ball rates were the best in his career the last two years (49.3% combined), but his ground-ball percentage was the lowest (43.7% for ’21-22). It’s possible that his OPS+ in each of the last two seasons – 110 in ’21 and 118 in ’22 – was the greatest of his career.

Wong is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner who is coming off a defensively bad year in which he was worth minus-9 outs above average (placing in the third percentile, per Statcast) and minus-1 defensive runs saved.

Some of that could be attributed to lower-body injuries he battled throughout the year, such as a right calf strain from a hit-by-pitch in June, which led to a stint on the injured list and persisted despite treatment and footwear experimentation. A full offseason of rest and a Spring Training with infield coaching guru Perry Hill, who has helped J.P. Crawford and Ty France among others, should be beneficial.

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