Alex Rodriguez from April 1 2006 to July 31, 2006:
Alex Rodriguez from Aug. 1, 2006 to now:
So what’s changed? The addition of Bobby Abreu to the lineup. Having the ultra-patient Abreu in the lineup, usually in front of Rodriguez, has helped him see better pitches. Abreu has a .422 OBP as a Yankee.
Rodriguez talked about it last night, saying what a difference it takes.
“Bobby’s a great player. He’s one of the real underrated players. The at-bats he puts together are incredible.”
I asked Rodriguez if that helps him at the plate.
“Oh, yeah. 100 percent,” he said. “You get to see 30 pitches a night before you get to hit. There’s a great residual there that’s incredible. … It’s like having an at-bat before your at-bat.”
Opposing teams go into games thinking they won’t let a player like Rodriguez beat them. But when Abreu gets on base, or wears down the pitcher, it changes the dynamic.
Obviously, Rodriguez is swinging the bat great. But having Abreu in the lineup obviously has made a dramatic difference. An .882 OPS is a lot different than a 1.042 OPS.