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Daily Dodger in Review: Bobby Abreu was a minor risk worth taking

November 17, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers outfielder Bobby Abreu connects for a double against the Mariners during an interleague game in Seattle.
Dodgers outfielder Bobby Abreu connects for a double against the Mariners… (Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images )

BOBBY ABREU, 38, outfield

Final 2012 stats (as a Dodger): .246 batting average, three home runs, 19 RBI, six stolen bases, 35 walks, .361 on-base and .344 slugging percentages in 195 at-bats.

Contract status: free agent.

The good: In truth, he was pretty much what you hoped he would be. More, actually, early on. His numbers don’t wow, but he was a what-have-we-got-to-lose pickup after the Angels — with their overstocked outfield — designated him for assignment.

He figured to be a left-handed pinch-hitter, but with left field still in flux, he actually ended up being the primary starting left-fielder against right-handers. And in May, he hit .318 with a .430 on-base percentage and was being given credit for teaching younger players patience at the plate.

That his early success did not last was hardly a surprise, but still he had it. By the time the Dodgers acquired outfielder Shane Victorino at the July 31 trading deadline, he had faded and was DFA again. He cleared, accepted a triple-A assignment and returned in September as a pinch-hitter.

The bad: After June 17, he hit just .168, with .282 on-base and .242 slugging percentages. In September he appeared only as pinch-hitter, going just 3-for-16 (with one homer). His defense was hardly a strong suit, though he could still steal a base.

What’s next: Figures to be done as a Dodger, and turning 39 in March, could be looking at the end of a terrific 16-year career.

The take: Considering his modest numbers and minimal impact after the middle of June, perhaps it seems Abreu is being given something of a pass. It goes back to expectations, and although he declined, he had his moments early when the Dodgers needed them.

For a guy who originally was disappointed he wasn’t playing every day for the Angels, it was a fairly dramatic fall. But he handled it with class, and if this is the end, it was still a great career.

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