Sunday, February 7, 2016

Abreu will not make the Phillies' Opening Day roster

Bobby Abreu, who turned 40 earlier this month, signed a minor league contract in January in hopes of competing for a spot on the Phillies bench. But his inability to play an adequate right field could be an issue.

Abreu will not make the Phillies' Opening Day roster

Bobby Abreu. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Bobby Abreu. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Bobby Abreu was informed by the Phillies that he will not make the Opening Day roster. 

Abreu made his sixth start of the spring in right field on Wednesday. He had been sidelined for two games earlier this week with left shoulder soreness.

Abreu was slow to get to a ball in the right field corner on an Ian Kinsler triple in the first inning. In the eighth, he was slow to retrieve a ball in front of him, ending the play with an awkward slide.

“He got a little bit of a late jump,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “Keeping it front of him would be ideal.”

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Sandberg was asked before the Abreu news came if his team could afford to have a person on the bench not unlike Matt Stairs in 2009 and Jim Thome in the first half of 2012, used strictly for pinch-hitting purposes.

“That’s what we have to determine, what kind of bench we want and how we want to utilize it,” Sandberg said. “A lot of times if you have a guy who can play some defense and get four at-bats, to stay sharp, and give a guy a day off, that's a necessity.”

Abreu went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Justin Verlander and the Tigers on Wednesday. He is hitting .244 with a .404 OBP, 3 extra-base hits, 10 walks and 6 strikeouts in 17 games this spring.

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