HOUSTON – Astros catcher Martín Maldonado was forced to switch bats for Game 2 of the World Series on Saturday night after it was determined that the pattern he swung in Game 1 was no longer allowed in the majors.
Maldonado went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in Game 1, Houston’s 6-5 10-inning loss to Philadelphia.
The bat he used in this game – a Marucci AP5 – was an Albert Pujols design. In 2010, Major League Baseball changed bat specifications for safety reasons, reducing the barrel diameter from the longtime 2.75 inches to 2.61 inches.
The switch to slightly thinner bats was designed to reduce the risk of them breaking into multiple pieces. As part of the move, players already in the majors and using bigger bats could continue to swing them.
Maldonado made his major league debut in 2011 and therefore could not use any of the bats that had been acquired.
MLB did not find Maldonado to have a competitive advantage using the Pujols model, and it appeared the confusion was an honest mistake. Maldonado has batted .186 this season and is a career .209 hitter in 12 seasons.
Pujols finished his 22-year career that season with 703 homers, fourth on the all-time list.
Bat maker Jack Marucci said the AP5 was “one of the original models that I worked with Albert to design”.
“He was the first player to give me a bat to fight back,” Marucci wrote to The Associated Press.
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