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Jared Walsh poised to supplant Albert Pujols at first base for the Angels

As Albert Pujols has struggled through the final seasons of his contract with the Angels, the team has struggled to find someone better to replace him. The Angels believe they have developed a suitable first baseman in Jared Walsh.

For every manager, the daily question is this: What lineup gives the team its best chance to win? In 2021, for Joe Maddon, that lineup often might not include a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

“Even last year, Albert knew that,” Maddon said Sunday.

Indeed, in the final month of Maddon’s first season as Angels manager, Pujols did not start 10 of the team’s 24 games.