Dodgers outfielder Bobby Abreu connects for a double against the Mariners… (Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images )
The comings for the Dodgers mean goings, and Wednesday that meant outfielder Bobby Abreu.
Abreu gave the Dodgers a needed lift when they picked him up May 4 after he had been released by the Angels. With Matt Kemp on the disabled list, Abreu played fairly regularly and was still batting .298 on July 17.
But in his 79 at-bats since, he was hitting just .165 and hadn’t really had a big hit since he last homered, somewhat ironically, in Anaheim on June 22.
The addition of Shane Victorino as the full-time left-fielder, however, met Abreu's playing time would be reduced to being a left-handed pinch-hitter, and that wasn't deemed to be of enough value to keep him on the Dodgers' rebuilt roster.
"It was a tough one today," Manager Don Mattingly said. "Bobby came at a time when we had some guys hurt and did a good job for us. He’s another guy in the clubhouse who's been good, who's been good with young players.
"But at the end of the day, Shane changes the dynamic of the offense. There's really no double switching, really no platooning."
With Victorino arriving prior to Wednesday's afternoon game, the Dodgers designated Abreu for assignment. If he clears waivers, Mattingly said, the Dodgers would still like to keep him; if he agreed to playing at triple-A Albuquerque, he could be called up in September.
"There's a possibility," Mattingly said. "We'd still like a chance for him to be around."
Mattingly said Abreu, 38, was uncertain what he would do. Abreu left the Dodgers clubhouse after being told he was designated, and was not available for comment.
Victorino is a switch-hitter, though batting left-handed this season he's hitting just .242 with a .316 slugging percentage; he’s at .316 and .561 from the right side.
If the Dodgers were going to get rid of an outfielder, the choice probably came down to Abreu or left-handed hitting Tony Gwynn Jr. Although Gwynn doesn't offer Abreu’s power threat, he's a superior defensive player and can also be used a pinch runner.
Given Gywnn's additional versatility, it was the clear call.
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