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Angels' Bobby Abreu is OK with reduced role ... for now

February 27, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Bobby Abreu reacts after hitting an RBI single during a game in July.
Bobby Abreu reacts after hitting an RBI single during a game in July. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

Tempe, Ariz. — Bobby Abreu, perhaps placated by assurances he would receive significant playing time this season, seemed to back off his play-me-or-trade-me demand a bit after meeting with Angels Manager Mike Scioscia and General Manager Jerry Dipoto before the team's first full-squad workout Monday.

"They said they would find a way to get me about 400 at-bats as a designated hitter, left fielder and right fielder," said Abreu, who turns 38 in March. "They said I'm not going to be on the bench the whole week. That's fine with me."

There seemed to be a small misunderstanding between Abreu and the Angels, though. Scioscia, in his daily morning media briefing, said he told Abreu that he was targeting 400 plate appearances, not at-bats. When you walk as much as Abreu, there can be a significant difference in those two figures.

"Maybe it was the translation," Scioscia joked. "Look, Bobby is going to have a chance to contribute. His fear is that he's going to play once a week. It's going to be more than that."

Aberu's role will hinge mostly on the health of Kendrys Morales, who, if he returns from a broken left ankle, figures to get most of the designated hitter at-bats, and how much Scioscia will rest corner outfielders Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells. If Mark Trumbo can play third base on a part-time basis, that could also free up some DH and corner outfield at-bats for Abreu.

"I'm not looking to be traded, I just want to play every day," said Abreu, who hit .253 with eight homers and 60 runs batted in last season and slumped badly in the second half. "Four-hundred at-bats is not enough. I've been getting 600, 700 a year, but that's the situation right now.

"I don't want to be a distraction to my teammates. ... I've been an every-day player my whole career. I love to play this game and want to be on the field every day."

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