Abreu wants as many spring ABs as possible

Usually, spring is the time for veteran players to take it easy and pace themselves for the long summer grind that’s ahead.

Not Bobby Abreu. The 37-year-old outfielder may not be an everyday player during the regular season – his 17th in the big leagues – but he recently told manager Mike Scioscia he’d like to play as often as possible once the Cactus League schedule begins next week.

“I just want to get as many at-bats as I can get,” Abreu said Friday. “I think that’s going to be good for me, especially since I didn’t play in the offseason in winter ball, so it’s going to help me a lot.”

This is a very different spring for Abreu, who’s left without a clear-cut role because of the addition of Albert Pujols and the expected recovery of Kendrys Morales. Abreu wants to play on an everyday basis, and has made that known, but seems content with Scioscia’s compromise of getting in the lineup three to four times a week.

This spring, though, Abreu wants to get in games as often as possible, maybe five to six times a week if the circumstances allow it. And his skipper believes that can happen with guys like Morales (left ankle) and Mark Trumbo (right foot) still working their way back.

“I think sometimes guys have to adjust their routine to where they are, especially as they get a little bit of time under them in their career, just to make some adjustments, and I think that’s what Bobby’s trying to do,” Scioscia said. “I think he wants to play. He wants to show he can play, he wants to go out there and win the at-bats that he thinks he’s going to contribute to the team, and he wants to get started on it.”

A two-time All-Star with a career .397 on-base percentage, 284 homers and 393 steals, Abreu has hit .254 with a .353 on-base percentage the last couple seasons, and mustered only eight home runs in 142 games in 2011.

Abreu insists he isn’t trying to prove anything or showcase himself this spring. He just wants to get himself into a good flow heading into the season.

“They know what I can do,” Abreu said. “It’s not to show, it’s just to get myself ready for the season. I don’t have to show them anything.”


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