Blog Entry

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

Posted on: June 20, 2011 12:59 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:35 am
Albert Pujols

By C. Trent Rosecrans and Evan Brunell

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols is out four to six weeks with a non-displaced fracture of the left radius (wrist/forearm), the team announced on Monday. General manager John Mozeliak said any return prior to six weeks is unlikely, as he will be placed in a soft cast for four weeks with no activity allowed. Then he will need to work up to baseball activities and a rehab start, so mid-August appears to be the most feasible return for Pujols.

"Six weeks is a long time," manager Tony La Russa told "But the No. 1 priority is to give Albert every bit of the time so when he comes back, he's not being cautious and being pushed."

The injury was diagnosed on Monday after Pujols underwent an MRI and a CT scan. The good news is that while his left shoulder was sore, no structural damage was found.

Pujols left Sunday's game with the Royals when he collided with Wilson Betemit in the sixth inning of the victory over Kansas City.

The three-time MVP had a slow start of the season -- hitting just .245 in April and managing only a pair of homers in May -- but in June has been much more Pujols-like, hitting .317/.419/.778 with eight home runs in 17 games. For the season, he's hitting .279/.355/.500 with 17 homers.

"You can't replace a player of his magnitude and there's no words or anything I can say up here that will convince people otherwise,"Mozeliak said. "But you know what? We've been handed a lot of uphill battles this year and we found ways to work around them. Even though he's definitely going to be missed, we still have to find ways to win baseball games and that's what we will do.

"All the medical people feel that this shouldn't be a problem [once it heals]," Mozeliak added. "But obviously wrists are always a concern when you deal with hitters, so it's something that we'll just have to work through. In his case, he already has a pretty strong grip as it is. That part of it, he's already ahead of the curve, so with that said, most doctors and the medical staff are optimistic that this won't be something that lingers for him."

With the injury, Pujols is will miss the All-Star Game in Phoenix next month.

It does soften the blow that the Cardinals' biggest offseason signing was for a first baseman -- it's just that the team signed Lance Berkman to play the outfield. If Berkman moves to first, it should open right field for Jon Jay, offsetting any defensive loss of Pujols and actually improving the team's defense overall. Yet, its no guarantee Berkman will shift to first, although the odds are he still sees a few games there.

"When we were talking to [Berkman] after we signed him and people were worried about his legs in the outfield, he said actually first base is more stressful with the quick left and rights," La Russa said. "So getting Lance in a place where he's physically feeling the best  and can play the most is a real good answer for us, so I want to talk to him and say, ‘Outfield or first base?' If it's the outfield, he'll play the outfield more. Probably my expectation is we'll have some versatility there."

Jay's also played well in his limited duty, hitting .313/.364/.436, while not Pujolsian, it's still respectable. And it's at least enough to keep pace with the Brewers and Reds in the National League Central. The Cardinals are committed to a strong offense, and Mozeliak admitted that Pujols' injury could change what he looks for on the trade market.

"That's obviously something you think about but I don't think we're in a position yet to really determine if we'd go down that path," Mozeliak said. "But one of the things we were trying to do was make sure we scored runs this year and losing your No. 3 hitter is not going to help.

"We've had creative ways of scoring runs and we'll just see, but does it open some potential opportunities out there that maybe you wouldn't have explored 48 hours ago? Yeah."

Pujols missed 13 games in 2008 when he went on the disabled list with a leg injury and 18 games with a strained muscle in his side in 2006. St. Louis went on to win the World Series in 2006, but missed the playoffs in 2008. 

Pujols is just the latest in a long list of Cardinals injury so far this season. St. Louis' spring training started with talks of Pujols' contract situation, but quickly turned to injuries when starter Adam Wainwright was lost for the season 

The start of the regular season was marked by Matt Holliday having to undergo an emergency appendectomy the day after opening day. Holliday's missed 25 games with various ailments, including a stint on the disabled list with a quad strain, returning last week.

Third baseman David Freese (hand) and utility man Nick Punto (forearm) are expected to start rehab assignments this week and return soon. Allen Craig, who is primarily an outfielder but has played in the infield, is also on the disabled list with a knee injury. senior writer Scott Miller joins Scott Braun to talk about Pujols' injury and what it means for the Cardinals. 

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Category: MLB

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: November 26, 2012 10:44 pm

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

By your own words..."Bonds obviously took steroids", you have just eliminated Bonds as one of what you say are the 2 best because he IS a PROVEN cheater.  You can't be the best if you have to cheat to do it!  As far as Griffey goes, IF he hadn't been hurt so often he would probably get the recognition he deserves.  But again, if you can't stay healthy, it doesn't matter if you have the POTENTIAL to be the best.

So lets see, Bonds is a CHEATER...NOT Pujols, and Griffey couldn't stay healthy to live up to his potential whereas Pujols is living up to his.

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:49 pm

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

JackNJake, you have my vote for post of the year! Outstanding and well done.

LS: You must be 10 years old. In "our time" the best two baseball players are Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds. Bonds obviously took steroids, Jr obviously didnt. Pujols has been a helluva hitter every since he stepped on the diamond his rookie season. But, he's not the best player of the past 20 years. You could possibly argue the last decade though. As it were, the Cards are finished this season. Too many injuries and maybe, just maybe it is Karma.

I know Brandon Phillips is laughing at Cards fans tonight. Dont get that twisted though about wanting Albert hurt, just the the fact that the WB's take one on the chin.

Since: Dec 6, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:14 pm

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

I will always be bigger than a sheep.

Since: Dec 6, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:12 pm

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

I may drive to KC tonight to shake your hand.
I couldn't have said it any better. 

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:54 pm

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

180 million is looking pretty good right about now.  Still can`t believe Albert walked away from that great deal!

Foolish pride always gets in the way of logic.

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: June 21, 2011 2:53 pm

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

The Machine? My ass......

Since: Dec 21, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 12:21 pm

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

Could Pujols have acted like a bigger p-ssy?!  Throwing himself on the floor and stuff. I understand he got hurt and a broken bone is not fun, I've had a few, but come on dude.  Man up!

Since: Jun 21, 2011
Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:43 am

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

This is absolutely beautiful.  Couldn't happen to a bigger bunch of jerkoffs then the Cardinal's fans.  They are so smug and such whiners it disgusts me.  They cry about the Brewer's hitters, they cry about the Red's and how they don't respect us.  Then, when you squeaked two wins out against a team that for 25 years has been terrible you think you're being disrespected because a ROOKIE pitcher pitches inside on his majesty.  He flips the bat and glares after his home run.  I agree KARMA.  This is what you dbags deserve.

Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2011 10:55 am

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

Actually, it's a broken forearm - according to his doctors.

Look, I am Cardinal fan but not a Pujols fan.  He had this coming.  On a grounder to the SS, he should have been at the bag with his right foot on the bag and not his left.  He was caught sleeping, caught out of position, and now he has a broken arm to show for it.

As a lifelong Cardinals fan, this guy is bad for the team.  He's a smug character who consistently acts like each HR was a surprise.  NO Cardinal in the history of the organization has been so smug. 

We're going to take this time to get used to not having him around.

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:47 am

Pujols out six weeks with fractured wrist

@CWergs/EE: by all means...whatever you need to do to feel big...

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