Supporting the Abreu case

A note on this A-Rod 'news'
On second though, maybe Bobby Abreu isn't all that bad...

It’s tough to find past evidence to support my Abreu claim, because he has been so damn consistent over his career. His OPB has always been good, and his batting average doesn’t fluctuate too much — except when he’s hitting like .350 and is coming back to earth. This may be a more recent development. Supporting that are a few instances in the past few years.

April 13, 2005
Pitcher faced: Dontrelle Willis
Went 8 for his next 41 (.195) with 10 walks and 0 extra base hits.

September 17, 2005
Pitcher faced: Dontrelle Willis
Went 6 for the rest of the season (45 at bats, .133 BA) with 9 walks and two doubles.

There was an instance in early 2006 (April 30) where he faced Oliver Perez. From that game, he went 5 for his next 36 (.139) with 13 walks and a triple. But Perez lasted just 3.2 innings that game, and Abreu flied out to left and walked twice. So I’m not sure what kind of case you can make here, but it’s still there. Coincidentally, Abreu sat the next day as the Phillies faced — guess who — Dontrelle Willis.

No, this is not concrete; it’s not guaranteed to happen every time Abreu faced a tough lefty (and Willis was quite tough at the time). However, we’ve seen it happen before. The question wasn’t whether it will or won’t happen. Rather, it’s about the risk. Why take that risk when you know things can turn sour pretty damn fast?

Update: Thanks to commenter CMB for the tip: Abreu out, Thompson in. I am gratified.

Oh, and while I was looking this up, I figured I’d check out Abreu’s second half splits to see if there’s any validity to his claim that he’s a second half player.

First half: .293/.447/.467
Second half: .303/.396/.456

He tore it up for us, but he actually hit better when in Philly.
* edit: he hit better with us; his average dropped 16 points, his OBP 20, and his SLG 23 from the All-Star break to the trade.

First half: .307/.428/.526
Second half: .260/.376/.411

Infamous Home Run Derby year

First half: .306/.440/.569
Second half: .296/.414/.515

You’re looking pretty full of shit, Bobby.

First half: .274/.388/.461
Second half: .335/.437/.478


First half: .302/.425/.486
Second half: .313/.400/.556

6 vs. half dozen

First half: .283/.394/.527
Second half: .297/393/.560

But of a power surge, but nothing huge.

First half: .327/.427/.539
Second half: .304/.404/.570

Once again, power, but worse BA and OBP.

First half: .323/.418/.552
Second half: .348/.472/.547

A bit better, but as before, nothing groundbreaking.

So, basically, Bob’s full of shit. He’s hasn’t been a better second half player over the past few years, and even when he was, it was nothing significant, save for 2003. One year does not a career make.

A note on this A-Rod 'news'
On second though, maybe Bobby Abreu isn't all that bad...
  • CMB

    Marc Lancaster’s blog on has posted the lineups. Bobby Abreu is on the pine, and Kevin Thompson is slated to start in RF.

  • John

    Great work Joe.

  • Luddy Bazcej

    Great work Columbo ;)

  • James

    Yup – cue Daniel LaRussa…

    “You’re the best a-a-a-round….no one’s evah gonna keep you down…the best a-a-a-round…”

  • James

    But tonight was the night to give Shelley his debut. Team’s SLGing .388 against LHP. And adding in Thompson and Caito ain’t gonna help that.

  • Joseph P.

    100% on board with that, James.

  • RobinCT

    Well, it appears there is at least some evidence to support the “tough lefties mess up Bobby’s swing” theory. Interesting.

    As for the 2nd-half thing… doh. I thought he was a better 2nd-half player, but the stats just don’t back that up. At all.

    Time to buck the trend, Bobby. Get all 2003 on us!

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