The declining influence of Bobby Abreu

May, 3, 2011
5/03/11
4:05
PM PT
Two seasons ago, when the Angels were making a push to improve their on-base percentage, they made a big point of advertising the influence Bobby Abreu's approach was having on his teammates.

Those days appear to be over. The Angels have struggled to score runs for several reasons this season, including a .232 batting average with runners in scoring position, a league-leading 222 strikeouts and a mediocre .323 on-base percentage.

The last number is Abreu's specialty. Take away his 24 walks and the Angels easily would be last in the AL in that category. Abreu and Howie Kendrick have combined for 42 percent of the team's walks this season.

Abreu's patience makes him stand out more than ever since he arrived in Anaheim. According to manager Mike Scioscia, it's not as easy as doing as Bobby does.

"Bobby's approach isn't for everyone," Scioscia said. "I think some guys really grasp it. It worked great for Chone Figgins. Bobby has a great two-strike approach. He understands what he needs to do to get back and fight balls off and get a pitch to hit. That's what has made him such a terrific hitter for a long time.

"A hitter who tries to do what Bobby does without a two-strike approach is just walking off a cliff."

Here are the lineups for tonight's game, as the Angels try to snap out of their offensive torpor and win for the second time in their last 16 games against the Boston Red Sox. The pitching matchup is a good one: Dan Haren against Jon Lester.

Angels

1. Maicer Izturis 3B

2. Abreu DH

3. Howie Kendrick 2B

4. Torii Hunter RF

5. Vernon Wells LF

6. Erick Aybar SS

7. Mark Trumbo 1B

8. Jeff Mathis C

9. Peter Bourjos CF

Boston

1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF


2. Dustin Pedroia 2B


3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B

4. David Ortiz DH

5. Jed Lowrie 3B

6. J.D. Drew Rf

7. Jed Lowrie RF

8. Carl Crawford LF

9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jered Weaver
WINS ERA SO IP
18 3.59 169 213
OTHER LEADERS
BAH. Kendrick .293
HRM. Trout 36
RBIM. Trout 111
RM. Trout 115
OPSM. Trout .939
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOJ. Weaver 169