Bobby Abreu said last week that he’ll ask for a trade if the Angels aren’t going to use him as an everyday player, but apparently now he’s fine with something less than an everyday role.
There’s no getting around the fact that the Angels’ first base/corner outfielder/designated hitter logjam means Abreu will be a part-time player if he isn’t traded before Opening Day, but general manager Jerry Dipoto tried to assuage the 38-year-old’s playing time worries today by saying he’s in line for around 400 plate appearances.
Abreu got 585 plate appearances last season and it was his first time under 650 plate appearances since 1998. In other words, he’s basically never been a part-time player.
Abreu told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that 400 at-bats “is fine with me,” although it’s worth noting that the Angels cited 400 plate appearances, rather than 400 at-bats, which can be a big difference considering Abreu’s walk rate. Whatever the case, I still think there’s a strong chance he’s moved between now and the end of spring training if Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo get healthy.
Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:
“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.
“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”
Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.