Flat Albert? Albert Pujols’ Bad Elbow
When it comes to drafting your fantasy team, there won’t be a riskier player than Albert Pujols. Any time a potential first round pick is linked to the phrase “high-grade tear”, and they aren’t talking about him ripping a fast ball down the line, I get nervous. Anytime the phrase Tommy John surgery is associated with a guy who’s supposed to be the backbone of my team, I clamp up.
He has basically has become untouchable for me. I would still draft him, but there is no way he’ll be available when I am willing to take him. He’s just too much of a risk for me. Even if he borrows Barry Bonds’ armor (he’s not going to need it anytime soon), ices it, and gets Cortisone injections I still can’t imagine this injury not taking a toll on him. I would imagine his power numbers would take a hit. I would imagine at some point it will become so sore that he will require a few extra days off, and a 15 day trip to the DL isn’t out of question. What worries me most though, is the Cardinals being mostly out of it by July. If the Cardinals are double-digit games out of the Division and Wild Card races, who’s to say that Pujols won’t go under the knife to get a jump on his rehab for next year. It will take him at least seven or eight months to rehab his elbow when he has the surgery. If this is a lost season anyway, he might as well get the surgery done in order to be ready for the start of next season.
Perhaps, I’m being pessimistic, however I think I’m being a realist. Swinging a bat is a violent action. There is a lot of pressure put on the elbow. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I just can’t. Unless the other owners in my league are more cautious than I am with Phat Albert, there is no chance I will have to worry about him, which is to bad because I do like him. If you’re less concerned than I am and are willing to stake your fantasy season on him, I wish you the best of luck. If he’s not there for you down the stretch, don’t say I didn’t warn you.