Angels' Abreu joins elite 20-20 company
Veteran one of three to achieve feat at least nine times
ANAHEIM -- Only three players in Major League history have reached the 20-homers and 20-steals mark at least nine times in their career. Barry Bonds did it 10 times, and so did his father Bobby.
The other name might be surprising: Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu. The 36-year-old notched his ninth 20-20 season on Sunday, when he hit a pair of homers for his 19th and 20th in Tampa Bay. He stole his 22nd base in the Angels' 7-4 victory over the Rangers on Monday.
"I think it's a classic group," Abreu said of the company he's keeping. "Of course you want to be there. Those are milestones. I want to keep it going."
Though Abreu has more homers this season than he did last (15), his 2010 numbers remain down overall: His average is .255 compared to .293, and he's driven in 75 runs this season, down from 103.
Still, Abreu's 15-year career has quietly been excellent -- his .400 career on-base percentage is most notable -- and manager Mike Scioscia thinks he should be in consideration for the Hall of Fame.
"When it's all said and done, you're going to have a lot of people who have influence on Hall of Fame voting taking a close look at what he does," Scioscia said. "He's certainly a player that's still going strong. He's important to our team right now and moving forward."
"I think you have to get to a certain plateau to reach some numbers to be in consideration. One thing working against Bobby is he's always walked so much that he's taken away opportunities to get some hits."
Abreu has 276 career home runs, a .296 average and 1,262 RBIs. According to baseballreference.com, similar batters to Abreu through age 35 are Bernie Williams, Luis Gonzalez and Garret Anderson.
Abreu agrees with the idea that he's flown under the radar.
"People don't realize my career numbers," he said. "They're very quiet numbers. But when it's over, that's when you're going to realize, 'Oh, hold on, he's in this group.' The names, a couple Hall of Famers, some All-Stars."
Scioscia confirms Halos' Aybar out for year
ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia made it official on Monday that shortstop Erick Aybar would not return this season.
Aybar, suffering from a likely sports hernia in his left groin, last played on Wednesday.
Aybar is still to be examined by John Preskitt, the Dallas-based doctor who performed the surgery to repair Torii Hunter's sports hernia, to determine whether surgery (normally considered a minor procedure) is needed. Aybar hit .254 with five home runs and 20 stolen bases in 132 games this season.
Scioscia said reliever Scot Shields is feeling fine, but Shields said he can still feel tightness in his right elbow. Shields said he was to be examined on Tuesday by team doctor Lewis Yocum to determine how he's recovering. He hasn't pitched since Sept. 7.
The only left-handed hitter in the Angels' lineup on Monday for the opener of a three-game set with the Angels at Angel Stadium was Bobby Abreu. Hideki Matsui, despite strong numbers against left-hander Derek Holland (4-for-10, two home runs), was available off the bench. ... Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels can still make a run at the playoffs. They're 10 1/2 games behind the Rangers in the American League West. They have 13 games left, including Monday. ... With a 4-0 win on Monday over San Francisco Class A affiliate San Jose, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes forced a decisive Game 5 in the California League Championship Series, to be played Monday night. Right-hander Kyle Hurst (5-3, 5.31 ERA) started for the Quakes. Angels top prospect Mike Trout is 6-for-9 with five runs scored, two home runs and four RBIs in the last two games.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.