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Angels' Bobby Abreu plays in 2,000th career game

The 14-year veteran entered Friday's game with 2,161 career hits and 261 home runs. Abreu has played for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Angels and Houston Astros.

May 28, 2010|By Mike DiGiovanna

His first big league appearance came on Sept. 1, 1996, when he was announced as a pinch-hitter for the Houston Astros and pulled for another hitter after then- Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Jim Leyland made a pitching change.

Almost 14 years later, Angels right fielder Bobby Abreu played in his 2,000th career game Friday night, with 1,353 of those games coming for the Philadelphia Phillies, 372 for the New York Yankees, 201 for the Angels and 74 with the Astros.

"You never think you're going to play that many games," said Abreu. "When you're young, 17 or 18, you just want to make it to the big leagues; you just want to get there. Then you start putting up some numbers, and you want to get to the level where I'm at right now."

Some think Abreu's numbers should warrant Hall of Fame consideration. He entered Friday needing two doubles to become one of only four players with 500 doubles, 250 home runs and 350 stolen bases. The others are Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Craig Biggio.

Abreu, 36, entered Friday's game with 2,161 career hits and 261 homers. Though he's a long shot to reach 3,000 hits, a mark only 27 players have achieved, Abreu has not slowed much; he had 30 stolen bases last season and has seven this season.

"He was a five-tool player when he was younger, and he's maintained a very high level of play through years when you see some drop-off in a lot of players," Manager Mike Scioscia said.

"When you see some of the numbers he's going to end up with, I think people are going to have a deeper appreciation for what Bobby has done."

Prolonged slump

When the Angels faced the Mariners and Chone Figgins for the first time in the regular season on May 7, their former leadoff hitter was batting .204 with a .336 on-base percentage.

Three weeks later, things have gotten worse, not better, for Figgins, who signed a four-year, $36-million contract with Seattle, where he moved to a new full-time position (second base) and a new spot in the order (second).

Figgins entered Friday night's game in Angel Stadium with a .194 average and .308 on-base percentage, huge drop-offs from the .298 average and .395 on-base percentage he posted for the Angels last season.

The switch-hitter, who scored 114 runs in 2009, led the Mariners with 29 walks, but he also had a team-leading 45 strikeouts. A career .296 hitter from the left side, Figgins was batting .145 from the left side.

"It is surprising because he's a tremendous athlete with a great eye, and he gets on base a lot," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. "The contract might be in the back of his head, but that's only a small part of it, maybe 5-10%."

Short hops

The Mariners flip-flopped starting pitchers for the weekend, moving ace Felix Hernandez from Sunday to Saturday's game and pushing Ian Snell from Saturday to Sunday. … Third baseman Brandon Wood (right hip flexor strain) resumed batting and fielding practice Friday and could begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment next week.

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