Scioscia gives Abreu a day of rest

Scioscia gives Abreu a day of rest

Scioscia gives Abreu a day of rest
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Forty-six at-bats and four hits into what can only be categorized as a miserable spring, Bobby Abreu got what Angels manager Mike Scioscia described as a mental day of rest on Thursday.

At this point, with only eight days left until Opening Day, Abreu's struggles may have less to do with mechanics and timing, and more to do with whatever may be rattling around in his head.

"Yes, there is some of that," Scioscia said. "That's why today Bobby is just taking a day. He's going to go down and work with [hitting coach] Mickey [Hatcher] on the lower fields and try to bring along some things that he's been trying to do."

If Abreu does want to be on a team where he can find more regular playing time -- as he has hinted in a couple of Spanish-language publications -- he certainly hasn't made it easy on general manager Jerry Dipoto. The Angels already had a hard time dealing the 38-year-old slugger because of his $9 million salary, and may now find it impossible with his .087 Cactus League batting average.

The Albert Pujols acquisition already limited Abreu's role on the team. And this spring -- as Kendrys Morales has worked his way back and Mark Trumbo has made himself an option at verious positions -- Abreu's playing time has seemingly only dwindled, prompting outside questions about whether it'd be best to simply release him.

"I'm fine," said Abreu, who has had a couple of closed-door meetings with Dipoto and Scioscia this spring. "I don't have any problems. That's been talked about. There's no problems. For me, the most important thing is to finish getting ready for the season, so that whenever they need me, I'm ready."

Scioscia said he's noticed Abreu's swing looking better the last three or four days -- even though he's hitless in his last 17 at-bats.

"I feel like I'm letting the ball get deeper," Abreu said, "and I feel better, more comfortable at the plate. I keep working. There's a week left, but I feel good. I'll repeat it again. I know I'm not batting what I need to, but sometimes you don't look for that [in Spring Training]. You look to be ready for the season."