Martin Maldonado ordered by MLB to stop using bats Albert Pujols gave him
Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado was informed by Major League Baseball this week that he used an illegal bat during Game 1 of the World Series.
Maldonado was given a half-dozen maple bats by former teammate Albert Pujols prior to the start of Houston’s series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Maldonado reportedly reached out to Pujols to request the bats, as he believes Pujols’ status in the game gets him better equipment.
During Game 2 on Saturday night, FOX’s Tom Verducci revealed that Maldonado was ordered to stop using the bats that Pujols gave him. Verducci explained that the particular model of bat has been banned league-wide due to its specifications. Players who began their careers prior to 2011 are grandfathered in and can continue to use them, but Maldonado made his major league debut in September 2011.
Tom Verducci just casually told everyone that Maldonado used an illegal bat last night AND that Albert Pujols has been using that model for 12 years because it was “grandfathered” in
Ok then pic.twitter.com/kMz17JK9z5
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) October 30, 2022
Before everyone starts freaking out about the Astros cheating again, it is important to note that the bats were banned for safety reasons. It has been determined that they are more likely to splinter into multiple pieces, which is why MLB no longer allows them.
Maldonado used a different bat in Game 2, which the Astros won 5-2. He went 0-for-3 in the game after going 1-for-3 with an RBI in Game 1. The 36-year-old is hitting .200 this postseason.
Even if Maldonado’s bat is still used by certain players around MLB and gives him no competitive advantage, there will be plenty of fans who cite it as yet another example of the Astros skirting rules. There were also questions about whether starting pitcher Framber Valdez cheated during his dominant Game 2 outing.