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Five Cardinals including Albert Pujols, Paul Goldschmidt nominated for All-MLB Team

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St. Louis Cardinals beat Chicago Cubs 2-0 Sunday

St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols (5) fist-bumps first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) before the start of baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022, at Busch Stadium. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

Albert Pujols and Paul Goldschmidt were two of five Cardinals nominated for the All-MLB Team on Thursday. The others joining the them were Nolan Arenado, Tommy Edman, who was listed as a second basemen, and closer Ryan Helsley.

The All-MLB Team award — which began in 2019 — names a player at each position in the field, a designated hitter, five starters, and two relief pitchers. The three outfield spots for the award are not specific to whether they played left, center or right. Along with the the first team All-MLB, there is also a second team.

Pujols was nominated for designated hitter with Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper, Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani, and Daniel Vogelbach of the Mets.

The 42-year-old slugger’s .895 OPS was the second-highest among that group behind Alvarez’s 1.019. Alvarez led the bunch in home runs (37) and RBIs (97). Most of Pujols' success came after the All-Star break when he hit .323 with an NL-high 18 home runs and a 1.103 OPS.

Already the winner of the National League Hank Aaron Award and the player’s vote for the NL’s most outstanding player, Goldschmidt’s .982 OPS led the  first baseman he was nominated with. Dodgers All-Star Freddie Freeman led the group with a .325 average while Mets slugger Pete Alonso led in homers with 40 and in RBIs with 131.

Atlanta’s Mat Olson, Minnesota's Luis Arraez, Texas’s Nathaniel Lowe, the White Sox’s Jose Abreu, and Arizona’s Christian Walker — the Gold Glove winner for NL first baseman — were the other nominees.

The winner of his 10th consecutive Gold Glove, Arenado ended the year with a .293 average, 30 home runs, and 103 RBIs. Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez led the third base group in RBIs with 126 and 20 stolen bases while San Diego’s Manny Machado led in average (.298) and OPS (.897).

Atlanta’s Austin Riley, Toronto’s Matt Chapman, San Diego’s Brandon Drury — who was acquired midseason in a trade with Cincinnati — Boston’s Rafael Devers, Houston’s Alex Bregman, and Seattle’s Eugenio Suarez make up the rest of the field.

Goldschmidt, Arenado, and Machado were also named finalists for the NL MVP award, which will be announced on Nov. 17.

Despite playing shortstop for 80 of the 153 games he appeared in, Edman was nominated with Houston’s Jose Altuve, Cleveland’s Andres Gimenez, San Diego’s Jake Cronenworth, Texas’s Marcus Semien, Colorado’s Brendan Rodgers, the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres, and the Mets’ Jeff McNeil.

While Edman had the second-lowest OPS among his peers, he did post the highest defensive WAR (2.9) and stole the most bases with 32.

After making his first All-Star team this past season, Helsley was one of 22 relief pitchers to be nominated. He ended the year with 19 saves, a 1.25 ERA, and a 0.74 WHIP. Some of the other relievers up for vote include the Mets' Edwin Diaz, Cleveland's Emmanuel Clase, Milwaukee’s Devin Williams, and White Sox closer Liam Hendriks.

Williams led the bunch with 14.24 strikeouts per nine innings while Clase’s 42 saves were the most among the field.

The winners are determined by the combination of a fan and media vote. Voting for fans began on Thursday and ends on Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. St. Louis time.

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