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Revealing Albert Pujols’ potential path to 700 career home runs



Revealing Albert Pujols' potential path to 700 career home runs

Revealing Albert Pujols’ potential path to 700 career home runs

Albert Puyol’s quest for baseball immortality has reached his limit as he is just 5 homers away from joining the super-exclusive 700 Homer Club with 26 remaining in his Cooperstown career regular season.

It’s all very exciting.

Of course, this is not a regular milestone. It’s not about finishing 3-for-4 with a .300 batting average on the last day of the season, or throwing a seven-inning suspension to drop the season ERA below the magic 2.00 mark. That would be historic.

The only three players to reach 700 are Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron and Barry Bonds. Puyols, if he gets there, will be the first player born outside the United States to join the exclusive club. That’s obviously a big deal for Pujols, 42, but probably even more so for Dominican Republic baseball fans, and possibly every Latin American player who looked up to and learned from him throughout his Hall of Fame career.

That’s a pressure on Puyols, as well as the guy who makes lineup cards every night. Oliver Mulmore’s first year coaching the Cardinals — 6 1/2 years younger than Pujols, by the way – had to balance Pujols’ pursuit with the club winning the NL Central and making sure they were in Position goals in the playoffs.

“It’s been in my head. I get it,” Mulmore said before Friday’s game against the Cubs. “They wanted to give him a chance to hit 700. I’m no different tonight than anyone else in these seats. Trust me, I want to see that too.”

Pujols didn’t hit a homer Friday, but did grab two PAs off the bench. He started Saturday (1-3 walk) and came off the bench Sunday, hitting a two-run homer.

That was his 16th of the season and his ninth since Aug. 10. In the final segment, he hit .369 with a 0.425% base hit percentage and 0.831% smack percentage. He looks a lot like Vintage Pujols, the player who left St. Louis for an incredible 11 seasons in free agency after the 2011 season.

It feels like the end of a picture book. But this is easier said than done.

Here’s the plan, folks: “Mapping him with right-handers, and of course any lefties, is something we’re going to do in the future,” Marmore said.

How does it look?

For the next nine games, the Cardinals are expected to face only one left-handed starter, Milwaukee’s Eric Claure, on Sept. 13. The Buccaneers’ September 9 starter is unknown, but they don’t have a left-handed starter on their current roster, so we’re assuming that won’t happen.

This is not ideal. Starting every nine games won’t get Pujols to 700.

When Marmol talks about “matching” Pujols with some righties, it basically means he won’t face the hardest throwing righties with nasty stuff, but he’ll see softer (relatively speaking) thrower. Think of it this way: If right-handers were a regular part of Pitching Ninja’s Twitter feed, Pujols probably wouldn’t be in the starting lineup. If the pitcher isn’t, there’s still a chance.

Will this change on the track? Possibly, but we’ll get to that later.

First, let’s see how it’s been used over the past few weeks. The Cardinals have played 20 games since Aug. 18. Puyols started 11 times, scoring 8 of them. Don’t expect this to change. If you buy a ticket to the remaining Cardinals games, you’re almost certain to see Pujols play at least once.

“At the end of the day, you know what you’ve got to do, you’re chasing the pitch you’re looking for, just trying not to overdo it,” Puyols said after the game, according to the St. Louis Post-Post. “Some nights you’ll get through, some nights you won’t. Well, you just enjoy the nights you do, and I’ll enjoy them tonight.”

The grand slam he hit in the third inning on Aug. 18? That was the dagger in the Cardinals’ eventual 13-0 win against the Rockies. This suggests that Marmore will be aggressive with Puyols, using him in key situations, but also giving him play and pitching, which is where he’s best on offense. In a home run against the Cubs, Puyols beat Lars Notebar for the starting batsman. Against the Rockies, he batted for No. 2 hitter Brendan Donovan.

In 114 games against the southpaw that year, he hit .366 with 12 home runs and a 1.191 OPS. Only one player has more home runs than Puyols in the majors: 13-year-old Aaron Judge. Only two players have better OPS: NL MVP contenders Paul Goldschmidt (1,379) and Austin Riley (1,197).

“I think it navigates to a position where he can be successful,” Malmore said, “but he still plays really well, he really is.”

That’s why you might see Pujols in DH against a right-hander he might play against in May. He had good results against right-handers, and time was running out.

So there is another factor at play. Winning the division is very important. If the Cardinals win the NL Central, they will host all three first-round games in a best-of-three innings format this year in a modified playoff scenario. If the Brewers catch them, the sharp drop could mean the Cardinals will miss the playoffs. If the Brewers catch the Cardinals and somehow St. Louis still claims the wild-card spot, they’ll be on the street for every one of this best-of-three innings. not ideal.

By the end of the trade deadline, the Brewers had a three-game lead in the middle, and it looked like a battle was looming. But Milwaukee was falling apart a bit — a fiasco against the Rockies on Tuesday night, a 10-7 loss by nine points after the seventh inning, was symbolic — and the Cardinals have played well since the deadline. Suddenly, the Cardinals led the Brewers by 8.5 points. With 26 games, it’s a very comfortable position.

As the game wears off, it’s conceivable that Marmore has Puyolce’s name in the starting lineup for most of the night in the starting DH. When you combine 700 chases with solid ABs against righties with finished playoff positioning — Cardinals have little chance of jumping to No. 2 seed with a first-round bye — Marmore can No openly being enemy #1 for not giving Pujols as much AB.

Then again, Marmol would like to see 700 as well.

“There are times in this game where you step back and stop being stuck in the game and become a fan for a minute and experience it like everyone else, and that’s one of those things,” Puyols said on Sunday. After the game he said he hit a home run.

For all the feel-good stories surrounding Pujol’s search for 700, don’t think he’s going to get any funky pitches. A reporter jokingly asked Cubs executive David Rose if that would happen in the Cubs series.

“This guy has had enough of my sacrifice, that’s for sure,” Rose said. “I was in Cincinnati when he was as good as ever. He’s had a really good career and 600 — okay for now. If we leave, he can get 700.”

In the Cardinals’ last 26 games, they have faced the Buccaneers most often — nine times, including the last six of the season, three at Busch Stadium and then three at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. This is basically Pujols’ second home during his time with the Cardinals. In 97 games there, he has career averages of .351 and 32 home runs. Think of it this way: Only 13 players have hit more home runs on the field since their debut in 2001, and they’re all Buccaneers and all have played at least 213 games there.

Oh, and Puyols has two home runs in the three games there this season.

Lock people up. This should be an interesting journey.

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


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

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.

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.

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




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.

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.

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.

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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 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.


  • 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.

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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