{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Abreu hits mistakes -- and much more

|
Abreu hits mistakes -- and much more play video for Abreu hits mistakes -- and much more

LOS ANGELES -- There certainly are ways to retire Jose Abreu, as Dodgers pitchers proved in 5-of-8 at-bats over the first two games in this series. But when a pitcher makes even the slightest of mistakes, as Clayton Kershaw did Monday and Dan Haren did Tuesday location-wise, Abreu can hit the ball a long way.

"He's a guy that you can get out if you make pitches, but you better not make mistakes," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Abreu. "It seems like he's quiet, kind of sneaky strong. ... He's smooth up there, so it looks like he just kind of sees the ball. Seems to be legit."

As White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson pointed out, even hitters flirting with .400 make outs and there's always room for improvement. That Abreu improvement comes from figuring out how they are getting him out, learning to combat that and then coming back with a better plan.

"If they get you out, did they get you out or did you get yourself out?" Steverson said. "Once you come to grips with the majority of time I got myself out because that ball was not a strike or [the pitcher's] strike, then I can say, 'OK, they are all going to make a mistake. Maybe not every at-bat, but at some point, they are going to make their mistakes.'

"Through the course of how many thousand pitches you are going to see through the course of the year, you have to be ready for them. He's a little different, because he does like to use the whole field. He goes the other way.

"To make him happier right now, we still will be able to use that base hit to right like he got, or double to right-center. And he's still being able to pull a hanging breaking ball or inside fastball and still be up to dust off some of the pitchers' pitches on two strikes rather than going down. And make better decisions. On that level, there's always room for improvement."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español