Justin Verlander and Albert Pujols were voted Comeback Players of the Year

Justin Verlander and Albert Pujols were voted Comeback Players of the Year

NEW YORK — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander i Saint Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols won baseball’s Comeback Player of the Year awards on Tuesday night.

Verlander, the American League winner, returned from Tommy John surgery to lead Houston to its second World Series championship. He had the lowest ERA in the majors and was a unanimous winner of his third Cy Young Award, becoming the first player to win the award after not pitching the previous season.

Pujols, honored in the National League, returned to St. Louis for his bye season and posted his biggest numbers in years at age 42. The three-time MVP compiled an .895 OPS for the NL Central champions and became the fourth player in the majors. to reach 700 career home runs.

The winners were chosen in a vote by’s 30 staff reporters.

Verlander went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 28 starts and made his ninth All-Star team. He won Game 5 in Philadelphia for the first World Series victory of his illustrious career, then became a free agent this month.

The 39-year-old right-hander made just one start in 2020 due to his elbow injury and missed the entire 2021 season while recovering from surgery.

Pujols hit .270 with 24 homers and 68 RBI in 109 games with the Cardinals after being released by the Cardinals. Angels of Los Angeles in May 2021 and ending last year with the Dodgers.

His OPS was his highest since his final season with the Cardinals in 2011 (.906) before joining the Angels, and his home runs were his most since hitting 31 in 2016 for to the Angels

The 11-time All-Star hit 18 home runs in the second half and retired after the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs by Philadelphia in the wild-card round.

He finished his career fourth in major league history in home runs (703), second in RBIs (2,218) and total bases (6,211) and ninth in hits (3,384).

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