LOS ANGELES -- Bobby Abreu helped power the Dodgers to a four-game sweep of the Phillies last week, hitting 4-for-9 with two runs and an RBI in his first time playing in Philadelphia against his old team. He's going to get another opportunity to show a former club what it's missing as the Dodgers host the neighboring Angels for a three-game set at Dodger Stadium. But don't tell that to Abreu.
"The Angels are just another team," said Abreu, who batted cleanup in Monday's opener. "We have to go out there and perform and do my job to help the team win. That's all that really matters to me." The 38-year-old was released by the Angels 20 games into the season, his fourth with the team. He was hitting .208 in eight games and the then-struggling team cut ties with him to make room for rookie outfielder Mike Trout. Getting released was a first for Abreu, but he said he doesn't harbor any bad feelings toward his former team. "It is what it is," said Abreu, who added he still talks to former teammates like Ervin Santana and Maicer Izturis. "It's a business. They had to do what they had to do. I'm fine. To me, I'm happy right now where I am and having a good time enjoying this. I'm on a winning team, and it doesn't matter to me." Since joining the Dodgers on May 4, Abreu has been a big part of their success, providing a veteran presence on a young team dealing with injuries. Through 32 games, he is hitting .326 with a .442 on-base percentage, nine RBIs and 16 runs. "Timing has been great," said Mattingly. "Bobby has been a guy who has been thrust into the middle of our order, and he's been great. He's a guy who gets on base. He's been great for the whole demeanor of guys' at-bats. He's been a pro and a good addition for us." Abreu simply attributed the strong start in Dodger blue to the additional playing time. He said he's been swinging the bat well and playing more often. Angels manager Mike Scioscia echoed what Abreu had to say about playing time and said it was tough to find him much with Trout on the way up. "We knew Bobby was capable of doing what he's doing now," Scioscia said. "It's just that we weren't really going to be able to give him the at-bats to contribute. It was just a commitment to Mike that we needed to make." Scioscia added he had no doubt in his mind that Abreu was going to land somewhere and contribute. He noted that releasing the outfielder was simply the way pieces fell into place, acknowledging the big lift he's given the Dodgers since heading across town. Abreu will be leaned on again to give his new team just that in the series against the Angels. As for whether he will have the same sort of success like he did last week against the Phillies, Abreu laughed at the question. "Let's see what's going to happen," he said.
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.