HOUSTON -- First baseman Lance Berkman continues to work on getting healthy and back into the lineup. He sympathizes with the struggles of former Cardinal Albert Pujols, who entered Sunday's game hitting just .194 in his first season in the American League with the Los Angeles Angels.
However, Berkman said he anticipates Pujols to be among the most feared hitters in the American League before the year is out.
"It's a six-month season," he said. "I know that there are going to be some pitchers in the American League who are not going to want to see him. He'll do like he did last year. He got off to a real rough start here and he ended up hitting 37 home runs and driving in right at 100 and hitting right at .300. So I imagine that he's going to be right there."
Berkman said that changing leagues is a big adjustment as well.
"It continued my rough going from here to there," said Berkman, who went from Houston to the New York Yankees before returning to the NL with St. Louis.
"But really the biggest thing is the bullpens, learning the different relievers," he said. "The starting pitchers, you get a feel for them after your first at-bat. You get more than one crack at them. A lot of times they bring in a reliever and by the time you figure out some information, the at-bat is over with. And usually, you're out.
"I'm not really worried about Albert. I know it's a big story, but the back of the baseball card doesn't lie. He's going to be just fine."