03/02/12 6:41 PM ET
Abreu wants more playing time this spring
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Not Bobby Abreu. The 37-year-old outfielder may not be an everyday player during the regular season -- his 17th in the big leagues -- but he recently told manager Mike Scioscia he'd like to play as often as possible once Cactus League games begin Monday.
"I just want to get as many at-bats as I can get," Abreu said Friday. "I think that's going to be good for me, especially since I didn't play in the offseason in winter ball, so it's going to help me a lot."
This is a very different spring for Abreu, who's left without a clear-cut role because of the addition of Albert Pujols and the expected recovery of Kendrys Morales. Abreu has made it known that he wants to play on an everyday basis, but he seems content with Scioscia's compromise of getting in the lineup three to four times a week.
But Abreu wants to get in games as often as possible, maybe five to six times a week if the circumstances allow it. And his skipper believes that can happen with guys like Morales (left ankle) and Mark Trumbo (right foot) still working their way back.
"I think sometimes guys have to adjust their routine to where they are, especially as they get a little bit of time under them in their career, just to make some adjustments, and I think that's what Bobby's trying to do," Scioscia said. "I think he wants to play. He wants to show he can play, he wants to go out there and win the at-bats that he thinks he's going to contribute to the team and he wants to get started on it."
A two-time All-Star with a career .397 on-base percentage, 284 homers and 393 steals, Abreu has hit .254 with a .353 on-base percentage the past couple of seasons, and mustered only eight home runs in 142 games in 2011.
Abreu insists he isn't trying to prove anything or showcase himself this spring. He just wants to get himself into a good flow heading into the season.
"They know what I can do," Abreu said. "It's not to show, it's just to get myself ready for the season. I don't have to show them anything."
Williams day to day with hamstring strain
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels right-hander Jerome Williams, the favorite for the fifth-starter spot, suffered a left hamstring strain during workouts on Friday and is listed by the club as day to day.
The Angels will hold a four-inning intrasquad game at about 12:30 p.m. MT at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Saturday, but Williams isn't expected to pitch. He was evaluated by trainers on Friday and will see Angels medical director Dr. Lewis Yocum on Saturday.
Williams, the journeyman sinkerballer who went 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 44 innings down the stretch last season, is competing with Garrett Richards, Trevor Bell, Eric Hurley and Brad Mills for the final spot in the Angels' rotation.
Healing Trumbo more comfortable at third
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Instead of lazily shagging balls in the outfield while his teammates are taking batting practice, Mark Trumbo has made it a point to position himself at third base at Tempe Diablo Stadium, hoping to field as many hard-hit ground balls off the bat as possible.
Trumbo, who had been recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot throughout the offseason but was recently cleared to run and progress toward full baseball activities, continues to feel comfortable with more intense work at the hot corner.
But it's still tough to simulate game speed, and thus it's tough to read where he is in his adjustment.
"We haven't been able to find out, because he looks fine in some of the baby steps, but his hurdle is going to come when the game comes to full speed, [when the] ball off the bat becomes full speed," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We haven't been able to get close to that because of trying to fit in his rehab. He's done as much as he can, outside of the things that we're going to need him to do to evaluate him. Although those things are encouraging, the test for him is going to be much deeper as he moves on to see if he's going to be a Major League third baseman."
Scioscia has not yet indicated when Trumbo, the Angels' first baseman in 2011, will get in an exhibition game. The Angels open their Cactus League schedule at the Athletics' facility on Monday.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.