There has been a lot of talk about the possiblity of trading Bobby Abreu, and I am totally for it. I think Abreu is an overrated player, who brings far less value to this team than most believe.
Abreu has for a while been viewed as a "star" player. His overwhelming potential has been intriguing Phillies fans for years. He hit .316, .335, and .312 in his first three years in Philly. The talk was of batting title. In his fourth year he hit 31 home runs. The talk was of home run crown. Possible triple crown, with his potential. But things didn't exactly turn out that way. He hit .300 three more times (but never higher than .308.) and in the last two years he's hitting .286. He hit 30 homers again (31) but in the other years hit only 20, 20 and 24. This year he is on pace for 16 homers. His declining average and power numbers are worrisome and completely underwhelming, considering the era in which he is playing.
On first glance, Abreu has fine stats this year. He currently hitting .286 with 59 RBI, 53 R, and 17 SB. His OBP is a sparkling .441. Those are great numbers for a lead-off hitter. But Abreu is not a lead-off hitter. He is hitting third. And he has 8 home runs. And he is supposed to be a "star."
As a 3-hole hitter, Abreu is average. Compare his HR and RBI numbers to some other NL hitters in the same position: Ryan Zimmerman (12, 58), Ken Griffey (18, 50 in only 58 games), Chipper Jones (11, 50 in 70 games), Geoff Jenkins (8, 50), Morgan Ensberg (19, 44), Albert Pujols (28, 73), Moises Alou (9, 33 in only 36 games), Nomar Garciaparra (11,53), Brian Giles (6,45). By comparison, his HR/RBI numbers are below the standards of other high paid "star" players. Of course, maybe HR/RBI are over-valued. Teammate Pat Burrell has 19 and 56 and he is getting benched every other game.
Obviously, Abreu's strength as a player and value to the team are his high OBP. As a lead-off hitter, Abreu would be great. But he is not being used that way. And if he is not going to be used in a manner that will benefit this team, he is not worth keeping around while he earns more money and his numbers continue to decline.
Pat Burrell is one of my favorite players on the Phllies. I like home runs and Burrell can hit them. Also, I lived in Philly from 98-02 while in college and heard many great stories about Burrell, many of them revolving around liquor, Marlboro cigarettes, and ladies. For these reasons, he became my favorite player (despite the quite homo picture of Burrell drunk-dancing at Bar Noir that I have posted here.)
Lately, I have seen less of Burrell on the field. He is struggling hard. His average has dropped to .246 and Charlie Manuel has decided to use Dellucci more in LF. The talk on other blogs is highly saturated with trade Burrell talks, to the point where many fans would trade Brett Myers if a team would take Pat and his salary. Despite my affinity toward Pat the Bat, I'm not totally against the benching or to some extent, the trade talk. What I am against, is that it seems that Burrell is getting singled out in the criticism. Look at Aaron Rowand's numbers over the last month. They are horrible but Shane Victorino hasn't taken over some duty for him. Jimmy Rollins is hitting .360 with an OBP of .323. That is really bad for a lead-off htter, yet he gets run out there everyday. Bobby Abreu has only 8 home runs from the 3-hole, but he is getting praise for a high OBP and RBI totals. Well, Burrell's OBP is .374, second on the team only to Abreu, and he has 56 RBI.
Burrell is struggling right now. I won't argue that, but everyone seems to only look at his average, and ignore his HR, RBI, OBP totals or deem them irrelevant, while praising others for similar stats. And son't overlook the fact that there are plenty on this team that are struggling, not just Pat the Bat.
Ian Snell has a 3-3 record and an ERA just over 3.65 in June/July.
News Update: Chicago White Sox continue to miss Aaron Rowand's lockerroom presence. Lack of intangibles from their CF causes them to fall to 26 games over .500. Meanwhile, the Phillies benefit from Rowand's "hustle" and "positive attidude" to the tune of of a .447 winning percentage. More later on this developing story...
Todays distraction: Full House.
"What ever happened to predictability,
The milkman, the paperboy, and evening TV"
NL East as Full House characters:
NY Mets = Becky Donaldson - hot
Phillies = Kimmy Gibler - ugly
Atlanta = Stephanie - crystal meth-induced failure
Washington = Uncle Joey - not funny; quite sad
Florida = DJ Tanner - young, potential