Decision Day Near for Abreu

Bobby AbreuThe Phillies have until Wednesday to make a decision on Bobby Abreu.

They must add him to their Opening Day roster or he can ask for his release. Technically, the Phillies don’t have to finalize their 25-man roster until 3 p.m. Sunday, but they essentially need to tell Abreu in good faith whether he is in their plans. If he is, he must be added to the 40-man roster.

“I’ve done everything I could,” Abreu said this morning at Bright House Field. “It’s a decision that’s not in my hands. I just have to go into the field and do my best. That’s it. But I’m not really thinking about it right now. I just have to wait and see what happens.”

Abreu, who will make $800,000 this season if he makes the big leagues, is hitting .257 (9-for-35) with three doubles, one triple, one RBI, nine walks and four strikeouts. He has a .422 on-base percentage and an .822 OPS. That might be enough to make the team, but Abreu has been slowed this week because of a sore left shoulder. He said he tweaked it swinging the bat.

He said he hopes to play tomorrow.

“It’s not a big deal,” he said. “It’s just a little sore.”

But there is much more than offense when it comes to determining Abreu’s future. He has to show some competence in right field to earn a spot. Reviews have not been glowing.

“So far he’s been OK,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Is he a liability out there?

“I wouldn’t say so,” Ryne Sandberg said. “Not in a part-time, spot start.”

Abreu’s chances obviously improve if the Phillies carry a six-man bench to start the season, but that remains to be seen. Here is my best guess on a six-man bench: catcher Wil Nieves; infielders Ronny Cedeno and Cesar Hernandez; outfielders Tony Gwynn Jr., John Mayberry Jr., and Abreu. Reid Brignac also is in camp. He could take an infield spot, but I think the Phillies take Cedeno over him because he is a considered a better defensive shortstop. I think they take Hernandez over him because he already is on the 40-man roster, they can option him to Triple-A when Freddy Galvis returns, he is a switch-hitter and he runs well.

If the Phillies carry a five-man bench things might get trickier for Abreu. I think Gwynn is a lock based on his play and versatility. Mayberry, although the Phillies have been trying to trade him for months, is relatively safe because they need a right-handed hitter with power. Darin Ruf would have provided that, but he will miss 4-6 weeks with the strained left oblique.

Stay tuned …

5 Comments

See ya Bobby!

Abreu either is or is not a defensive liability every time he has a ball hit his way. What does being a spot starter have to do with it?

Don’t know, Pherris, but if asked to choose between your opinion and Ryne’s, I’ll go with the HOFer.

Well Ed, Sandberg appears to have changed his mind about Abreu in RF after seeing him out there on Wednesday. It apparently scared him pretty well. Caio, Bobby Abreu.

means for the few innings he’ll play in the field, compared to the number of times he’ll pinch hit, he is worth the liability. If he was playing every day in the field, it would be a different story. Like the defensive specialist who comes in to play the 8th and 9th in the field and can hit. Since he gets one AB a week, who cares, if he got 5 a game, it would be an issue

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