Pujols moves to 3B

Albert Pujols is moving across the diamond, at least for one day.

About two hours prior to the Cardinals’ game against the Phillies on Monday night, the Cardinals announced that Pujols would start at third base, rather than at first, where he has played almost exclusively for the past seven-plus seasons. Pujols last started at third base on Sept. 23, 2002.

When manager Tony La Russa initially posted his lineup, it had Pujols at first as usual. However, Pujols approached La Russa and offered to play third, and the manager took him up on it. Nick Punto moved from third base to second, Allen Craig from second to right field, and Lance Berkman from right field to first base.

Pujols played 1 1/3 inning of third base on May 1 at Atlanta. Other than that, however, he hasn’t played the position since that last start in 2002.

-M.

18 Comments

Huh??

are you serious???

Yes. I don’t make things up.

Matt, do you find it even more surprising considering it’s Westbrook pitching? I know all of the Cardinals pitchers like to get ground balls, but Westbrook lives on them.

Is he that much of an upgrade over, say, just playing Craig at third?

Well, it’s also an upgrade in RF, I think.

Good point.

Let’s see how it work. Anyway… offense and defense is going well, the real problem is bullpen. There is where the Cards needs real moves

You can say defense is going well with a straight face?

What about all the concerns about Albert’s elbow that have kept them from trying this for the past several years, even when we were using guys like Thurston at 3B? Are they now a thing of the past? If not, this has the smell of desperation about it…

And frankly, how much of a defensive upgrade is Craig in RF over Berkman? Minor at best, IMO.

I think it’s a smart move. We are obviously weak at 3rd, Pujols can play there. Berkman can play first easily, and Jay is definitely an upgrade in right. Any word on Rasmus’ injury?

Wow, I first read this, I assumed Jay would be in right…I don’t understand why Craig is preferred over Jay.

Because he’s a much, much better hitter. Especially against lefties.

it does not sound like too bad of a move, berkmans knees aren’t gonna hold up in right, pujols is an all around solid infielder, but at this point get rid of the relief pitchers except salas and restart, the starters seem to do really well and then someone like motte or boggs comes in and messes it up. the only one I see come in pitching worth a hell behind the starters is salas. infield could use some work a whole bunch of stupid errors this year.

He’s showing his versatility when he becomes a free agent

Sooo, then we’re just giving up on defense in favor of hoping we score more times than the other team? I know the guy’s played there in the past, but there’s no way he’s the defensive equal of any of the Birds’ other 3Bs. Not any more.

He played 3B on the Sunday game in Atlanta and seemed at home. Totally double-taked though. Just looked weird.

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