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Bobby Abreu: stumped by his slump

8/4/2011

Bobby Abreu broke into the major leagues 15 years ago and has been playing virtually every day since 1998, but this past month has brought some new experiences.

"This is the first time this has ever happened to me," Abreu said. "It feels weird. Believe me, it feels weird."

Abreu, 37, is in the longest slump of his long, impressive career -- batting .163 since July 1 -- and he got Thursday night off against Minnesota Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano. In discussing his slump before the game, Abreu asked a reporter how many at-bats it has lasted.

"What is it, about 50?" Abreu asked. Um, no Bobby, almost 100.

"Wow," Abreu said, shaking his head. "Wow."

He insists that this lengthy struggle, however, is not the result of aging.

"Maybe people assume that's because of my age, but there's nothing wrong," Abreu said.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia indicated that Abreu will return to his spot in the middle of the Angels' batting order -- usually batting second or third -- on Friday against the Seattle Mariners.

"His bat speed looks fine, he's just not squaring it up," Scioscia said. "Yes, it's been an extended time, but one thing he's been doing is taking walks and working counts. His average and production haven't reflected what we need from him."

Here are the lineups for Thursday, with Jim Thome still three home runs shy of 600:

Twins

1. Denard Span CF

2. Joe Mauer 1B

3. Michael Cuddyer 2B

4. Jason Kubel RF

5. Jim Thome DH

6. Danny Valencia 3B

7. Delmon Young LF

8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka SS

9. Drew Butera C

Angels

1. Maicer Izturis DH

2. Alberto Callaspo 3B

3. Torii Hunter RF

4. Vernon Wells LF

5. Howie Kendrick 2B

6. Mark Trumbo 1B

7. Erick Aybar SS

8. Peter Bourjos CF

9. Jeff Mathis C