Pujols, 33, a three-time National League Most Valuable Player while with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001-2011, is in the second year of a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels.
Pujols, whose batting average of .285 for the Angels last year had been his lowest as a major leaguer, is hitting .258 this season with 17 home runs and 64 runs batted in. He has been bothered by plantar fasciitis in his left foot all season and has not played since July 26.
“By the time I was going to come back, it would have been two weeks left in the season,” Pujols told reporters yesterday before the Angels hosted the Cleveland Indians. “That’s what the doctor and everybody else agreed on, so we looked at the schedule to see if it was worth it to come back at that point in the season and decided to shut it down.”
The Angels are in fourth place in the American League West division and have eight teams ahead of them in the race for the AL’s two wild-card spots.
Pujols had a .328 average and 445 homers during his 11 years in St. Louis. Since signing with the Angels as a free agent in late 2011, the first baseman has had the two least-productive years of his career offensively.
His slugging percentage has declined from .617 in St. Louis to .485 with the Angels. Last year, he failed to rank in the top 10 in his league in MVP voting for the first time in his career.
“The risk and reward of everything has to be evaluated, and I think there’s probably more risk than there would be reward in Albert trying to do what he needed to do to get ready to play this year,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com