Angels 25 Man Roster Company

As Spring Training draws to a close the 25 man roster is beginning to take more shape. Jason Isringhausen’s up, Mike Trout’s down and Bobby Abreu is? Well? Ummm? Now that is the uncomfortable question of the Spring, now isn’t it?

Mike Trout, to the surprise of many is headed back down to the AAA for the time being. When Spring Training began, I had hoped for a different outcome. My current dream Angels outfield has Trout and Peter Bourjos in it together. But Mike Trout missed most of Spring Training and was not his normal self for the rest of it following a nasty bout with the flu that to all reports left him physically drained and 15 pounds lighter. Go figure – getting the flu isn’t any easier or more fun when you’re a professional athlete. So, as much as I’d like to see Trout up with the major league club this season, I can’t argue with the idea of leaving him in AAA to heal up and get back into the swing of things. He is only 20 years old after all. No need to rush these things and, besides, I can’t imagine the Angels waiting all the way until September call ups to bring him back up again.

And it looks like the Angels’ bullpen certainly will not lack for a veteran presence in 2012. The team welcomed Jason Isringhausen to the 25 man roster this week. Do I love the move? Do I hate it? Eh, with Michael Kohn and Bobby Cassevah sidelined with injuries right now, we have the room. I’ll reserve love it or hate it judgment until we see which era of his considerable experience Isringhausen is channeling this season, a good year, or?? Yeah.

Which brings us to Bobby. Bobby. Bobby, baby. Bobby, bubbi. Angel, I’ve got something to tell you… I detested Company, actually, but lately that snippet of recurring refrain keeps popping into my head every time Abreu’s name comes up in the news and I think it’s because, like the character in the play, there is a big obvious change that needs to happen in his life that he is fighting tooth and nail…to the annoyance of everyone.

As for Company, I might have liked it better if I hadn’t sat through six performances of it in one week, all of them featuring two roles so badly overacted that they unintentionally over emphasized the terribly self absorbed nature of so many of the characters. What can I say, too many friends in the Spring main stage that year, too many more friends who hadn’t seen them do their thing yet and way too many, impossible to politely turn down comped tickets. Ah, college!

As for Bobby, I know I’d like the situation better if he were accepting it with a little more grace. He is not an everyday player anymore, not in the field anyway. Whenever we put him out there for any length of time, it goes badly. While I am really sorry to say it, he just plain can’t move the way he used to in the outfield – even though, surprisingly, he can on the base paths and that is a joy and a half to watch – and when he gets frustrated by this, he throws the ball away once or twice a game. I get it in the sense that I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be for a player of his former caliber with his career stats to have his body missing what his mind and instincts are so strongly willing it to do by just that much. And when Bobby isn’t playing in the field every day, his mighty bat gets pretty darned quiet which does mean there isn’t a whole lot of workable room on the roster for him.

The comments Bobby made to the Venezuelan press about doubting Mike Scioscia’s word that he would see 400 at bats in 2012 were inappropriate no matter when he made them…but they weren’t incorrect. Unless something radical happens to the roster and Bobby improves at the plate, I don’t see him getting those at bats either.  So Bobby’s here but, if our big bat, good clubhouse guy, occasional right fielder can’t play right field, isn’t doing so hot at the plate and is no longer a good clubhouse guy over the whole thing, I think it would be best for all concerned, including Bobby, if he were not here anymore. It’s too bad that contract makes him so hard to move – thanks Tony! And even with the pissy attitude of late, I hate writing that. Bobby was great for the Phillies, great for the Yankees and one of my favorite players to watch on the Angels in his first year and change with the team. Like I said at the beginning, very uncomfortable all around.


  1. Mateo Fischer

    Ah the curious case of Bobby Abreu. Can I just ask, who is this guy? I mean yeah, I am/was a Yankee fan and know who the person is, but the nature of the player seems enigmatic to say the least. I would say the only constant is his patience at the plate, but for example, do you remember when he was a power hitter and set the record for most HRs hit in a round of the HR Derby? Then he was just a good player who was “the guy” in Philadelphia before being traded to the Yankees. Now he’s…well who knows who he is now.

    • This is a very simple game...

      I love how you put that Mateo. Well said. But, Bobby’s been more than just a good player, he’s been a great player. In his career he has been the spark that gets things started in a lineup, the clubhouse mentor who helps the younger guys refine their skills sets with noticable improvement, and a gold glove defender. He’s one of only five players to get more than 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 250 home runs, 350 stolen bases and 1,000 walks, a unique skills combination (base running ability, plate discipline, hitting for average and power) that puts him in pretty elite company with Rickey Hendersen and Willie Mays. And that’s why this is sad to me. I understand why he’s frustrated but being frustrated with a situation doesn’t change the situation, and jawing about it really doesn’t. He can’t be those things anymore and he needs to realize it and change his game up to capitalize on what he still can be or he’s going to lose a lot more playing time over it, here or somewhere else.

      — Kristen

  2. Red State Blue State

    The Abreu situation reminds me that even the Angels have their contract issues. The good news is, with the team you’re putting out there, it doesn’t even matter! (Perhaps you’d all be interested in an Alex Rios too? Jake Peavy? Alfonso Soriano? Lots of bad contracts in the Chi)

    • This is a very simple game...

      Ummmm…yeah…tempting, but no. I think the Angels did their “good” deed for the decade with the Wells deal. Now Tony’s out and Jerry Dipoto seems to at least plan for more good Angel years from a player before a contract potentially becomes a complete albatross. Time will tell.

      — Kristen

  3. Pingback: Has the Argument Blown Over? + Bobby Abreu, Mike Trout and Angels Closers « This is a very simple game…

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