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Dodgers take a flier on Bobby Abreu, option Justin Sellers

May 04, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Bobby Abreu stretches before a game.
Bobby Abreu stretches before a game. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

Look at it this way, at least now the Dodgers have the threat of power on their bench.

Because otherwise, the whole bench is the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." Slap hitters, on-base guys, lots of utility guys, but nobody who can actually place a small fear into the opposing manager’s heart.

Now you can argue just how much power Bobby Abreu actually has left at age 38 -- bet the Angels would -- but it still is going to be more than any of the other backups.

Abreu has 284 career home runs -- though only eight last year -- which is 284 more than any Dodgers pinch-hitter this season. Dodgers pinch-hitters are batting .143 this season.

Plus, he's kind of a left-handed complement to their other Angels reject, Juan Rivera. Think of it as a special club, with Adam Kennedy as a special associate.

The Dodgers still have to wonder if they didn't catch a bit of the ol' lightning in the bottle with Rivera last season (46 RBI in 219 at-bats), plus there are always concerns about his durability. He's already missed games with a sore hamstring, and is not someone you can count on to remain healthy and play every day.

To add Abreu to the roster -- he’s in Chicago and with the team today against the Cubs -- the Dodgers optioned Justin Sellers to triple-A Albuquerque, a problem only because it really leaves them without a true shortstop to back up shaky Dee Gordon.

Sellers is another of those useful utility guys who can play second, third and short but hasn’t been able to hit a lick in two stints with the Dodgers, and there's little reason to think he ever will. Sellers was batting .150 after hitting .203 last season.

I guess the backup shortstop is now Jerry Hairston Jr., who hasn’t played shortstop this season and really hasn't played much at the position since 2010. He dabbled a little there this spring, though not impressively.

It tells you about the state of the Dodgers’ bench that the disgruntled Abreu would actually be an upgrade at age 38, but there it is. It's an upgrade.

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