Just after Cardinal outfielder Matt Holliday returned from his injured rib cage on Monday, Albert Pujols was listed day to day with tightness in his lower back. This injury has been bothering Pujols for the duration of Spring Training and he has already missed a week for this same injury. Although this is only a minor injury for Pujols, this injury could come back to haunt him later in the season.
If this injury for Pujols continues to bite back on the 8-time All-Star the Cardinals lineup will drastically change without their main power threat. If the injury continues the lineup card could look something like this…
1. Skip Schumaker – 2B
2. Colby Rasmus – CF
3. Ryan Ludwick – RF
4. Matt Holliday – LF
5. Yadier Molina – C
6. Chris Duncan – 1B
7. Joe Thurston – 3B
8. Brendan Ryan – SS
With this lineup the Cardinals do not have their three main power threats in the middle of their order in Ludwick, Holliday, and Pujols. Pujols hit 47 homers and had 135 RBI’s but expect that number to drop this year.
Luckily for the Cardinals, Pujols will only be out during Spring Training and will not take time off during the regular season if he doesn’t reinjure his lower back. As you may already know, Albert Pujols has been quite lucky with his injuries, only having a few during his incredible career. Last October, Albert had surgery to remove five bone spurs in his right throwing elbow.
This injury could cause problems for Pujols in the future but as for right now, he is focusing on getting prepped for the 2010 which he hopes will be another 30 homer 100 RBI season. This is a feat that he has accomplished in each of his past nine seasons.