Outisde of Mike Trout, there's probably no member of the Los Angeles Angels more crucial to their success than Albert Pujols.

With the Halos hot on the heels of the first-place Houston Astros, it's important to have Albert in the lineup as frequently as possible. That's why he received the night off on Wednesday against the visiting Chicago White Sox.

Missing just his fifth game of the season, Pujols was given a breather to preserve his legs - as manager Mike Scioscia knows how important they are to his hitting ability.

Said Scioscia to the O.C. Register's Pedro Moura to that end, "With Albert, there's a definite parallel between the health and the strength of his legs and his production. You want to make sure that stays there."

There are a little over 40 games remaining in the regular season, and the Angels will likely need Pujols' presence on an everyday basis from here on out.

Scioscia emphasized the need to ensure he stays readily available, and scheduled days off a part of that recipe: "I think he's just at a higher level physically right now then we've seen since he's been here. But, like any player in the league when you get this many games and at-bats under your belt there's wear and tear on every player out there and Albert's no different."

In 2015, Pujols is hitting .253/.311/.509 with 33 home runs and 69 RBI.

(h/t O.C. Register)

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