Dodgers: 3 replacements who’ve carried LAD in 2021

Adam Weinrib
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 09: Albert Pujols #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in action Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 9, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 09: Albert Pujols #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in action Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 9, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Albert Pujols #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

1. Albert Pujols

Seriously, how did this happen? Honestly? How did Albert Pujols find a new gear seconds after leaving the Angels for bluer pastures?

Just lucky, we guess. Though luck is the residue of championship design, which the Dodgers have oozing out in droves.

When the Dodgers nabbed Pujols to fill … uh, Position TBD (?), he wasn’t expected to provide much other than the occasional bit of bench pop. The hope was he’d be able to mash lefties commensurate with his previous level of ability, once the burden of a massive contract and everyday expectations were removed from his shoulders.

So far, so good!

Overall, Pujols is slashing a resurgent .273/.314/.530 in LA, and has also accrued as much fWAR in a few weeks in Hollywood as he did in Anaheim between July 8, 2014 and his early May departure.

Against lefties, he’s been a well-recognized weapon, too, hitting .388 with six extra-base hits in that scenario in Dodger Blue.

With Max Muncy out, you might be seeing a bit more of Pujols in the weeks to come, and hopefully that overuse doesn’t wear him down to a nub. His first month-plus of action has been invaluable to a Dodgers team that could use a little extra punch here and there. It never hurts to have a Hall of Famer in your back pocket!

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