Dodgers designate veteran Abreu for assignment

Dodgers designate veteran Abreu for assignment

Dodgers designate veteran Abreu for assignment
LOS ANGELES -- To make room for newly acquired Shane Victorino, the Dodgers designated veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu for assignment on Wednesday.

Abreu batted .251 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 70 games with the Dodgers after being signed as a free agent on May 4. Manager Don Mattingly said it was a tough decision that was needed to be made with Abreu's opportunities to play at a minimum moving forward.

"Bobby came at a time when we had some guys hurt and he did a great job for us," Mattingly said. "He was good with the young players talking to them about hitting."

Abreu was unavailable for comment, but Mattingly said the 17-year-veteran understood the decision. Mattingly added there is a chance Abreu could come back when rosters are expanded if he doesn't get claimed by another team.

"To me, he's always been class in the way he handles himself," Mattingly said.

Abreu started seven games and appeared in 15 of the team's 18 games since the All-Star break, often either being taken out for a defensive replacement or coming in as a pinch-hitter late in games.

It was just earlier this month when Abreu was joined in the outfield by Scott Van Slyke, Elian Herrera, Tony Gwynn and Jerry Hairston during a four-game series against the D-backs. Now, Los Angeles boasts three outfielders -- Victorino, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier -- who own six All-Star appearances, six Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers.

"Shane changes the dynamic of the outfield from the standpoint that there is really no more double switching," Mattingly said. "There's really no platoon unless somebody is banged up or hurt."

Mattingly said Gwynn has been part of the team's talks the past few days about what roster moves to make and how to reshuffle the outfield. He also said on Tuesday that Juan Rivera will move to a full-time platoon at first base with James Loney instead of alternating positions.