Ubaldo Jimenez dominates the Spanish-language press like he dominates NL hitters, but a few other stories have managed to make it to press. Links are in Spanish…
- Bobby Abreu held a conference call with Spanish-speaking reporters press earlier this week, and the focus quickly switched from his philosophy of hitting to the end of his career. Lider en Deportes' Cesar Augusto Marquez quotes Abreu as saying he'd like to play five more years in the majors in the hopes of attaining 3,000 hits. The 36-year-old Venezuelan admits, however, that his timeline might change if he comes to believe the round number is out of reach. Assuming Abreu produces between 160 and 180 hits this season, as he has for each of the last ten, five more in the same range should put him over the edge.
- The Pirates continued their recent surge of Latin American signings yesterday by adding righthanded Dominican pitcher Jonathan Herrand for $185K out of the Dominican league La Javilla. Jeffrey Nolasco at Hoy paints an impressive picture of Herrand as a potential power arm: 6'4", with a 95 mph fastball backed by two plus breaking pitches and a delivery that his Javilla coach compares to a young Pedro Martinez. Pedro plus five inches—not a bad place to start.
- Edgardo Alfonzo would like to return to the big leagues, and to the Mets in particular, the player tells the New York-based El Diario/La Prensa. Given that Alfonzo's two great seasons and one memorable postseason in Flushing are now a decade past, you'd be forgiven for mistaking him to be older than Abreu at 36. Alfonzo's last stint in the majors was in 2006 with the Blue Jays, and he's been playing consistently in Japan, Venezuela and for the independent Newark Bears since.
It’s too bad that Abreu needs 3,000 hits to even dream of Cooperstown. I’m not saying he necessarily belongs there, but he deserves a few votes, mostly for his amazing peak from ’99 to ’04. But he seems like one of those guys like Olerud or Will Clark whose strengths aren’t the things HOF voters recognize.
Bring Edgardo back! Give him a minimum contract and see how he performs in AAA. Sure, it’s a crazy move, but it wouldn’t be the worst PR move in the world to bring him back and send down Mathews. Sure I don’t expect him to have another 99 or 2000, but what’s the worst that could happen, you take away at bats from a player that never was?
I hope Abreu doesn’t change his approach at the plate – sacrificing BB’s in an attempt to get more hits. His walk rate this year has been just meh so far.
I enjoyed Bobby’s time in pinstripes, but realistically there is no way he plays for 5 more years as a starter. His defense has been atrocious for a couple of years now, and unless he gets his OPS back up to the .850-.875 range, his bat won’t play at DH. Best of luck going forward Mr. Abreu.