Abreu feels welcome upon return

Times Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Tony Abreu admitted to feeling apprehensive when the Dodgers recalled him from triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday.

“I thought they wouldn’t treat me the way they used to because of what happened,” Abreu said. “But I saw that things weren’t like that and that everyone treated me the same. These are good people. Everything’s fine.”

A dispute arose between the Dodgers and Abreu’s representatives over the severity of an abdominal injury suffered by the 22-year-old infielder in July. Abreu remained on the active roster for almost two weeks, but said he couldn’t play upon being sent to triple A. He was put on the minor league disabled list and landed on the inactive list when his agent, Scott Boras, argued that he should be on the major league DL.

The matter remains unsettled. The players’ union is conducting an investigation and will determine in the next week or so whether to file a grievance on Abreu’s behalf. By not being on the major league DL, Abreu lost money and service time.


Abreu maintains he was hurt when he was sent down. He added that he still feels pain when he runs or plays defense and that he might undergo surgery in the off-season to repair what a doctor told him is an injured tendon. He estimates that he is 90-95% of full capacity.

Abreu said he was able to play in the days leading up to his demotion because his role with the Dodgers was limited. From the time he strained his stomach on July 6 to when he was optioned to Las Vegas on July 18, Abreu played in four games and didn’t start any of them.

“I was taking an at-bat here and there,” he said. “I could take that at-bat, but I couldn’t run.”

Abreu said he was hurt that people in the Dodgers’ organization didn’t believe him. “I want to know who it is that disputes me,” he said. “They aren’t inside of me.”


He said he told Manager Grady Little and trainer Stan Conte that he wasn’t in condition to be an every day player when he was optioned to Las Vegas. Little acknowledged that a conversation of some sort took place. Conte refused to comment.

Randy Wolf underwent surgery on his left shoulder, with Drs. Lewis Yocum and Neal ElAttrache cleaning up inflammation in his bursa and tears on the edges of his labrum. Conte said that the problems with the labrum could explain why Wolf was unable to get through his rehabilitation.

Conte said that because no structural problems were found in Wolf’s shoulder, he would begin rehabilitation next week and could start throwing a ball in six to eight weeks. He added that Wolf should be “perfectly competitive” in spring training.

What is unknown is whether Wolf will be with the Dodgers. With Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Esteban Loaiza and Jason Schmidt signed for next season, the Dodgers might not pick up a $9-million option on Wolf’s contract.


Because the Dodgers don’t play Monday and Little doesn’t want to “disrupt” Penny, Little has elected to swap Penny’s and Loaiza’s places in the rotation. Penny will pitch Sunday in San Francisco and Loaiza will take the mound against San Diego at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

Billingsley and David Wells will start the first two games against the Giants.

Former All-Star catcher Lance Parrish was fired as the manager of the Great Lake Loons, the Dodgers’ Class-A affiliate in Midland, Mich. The Loons were 57-82 under Parrish in their inaugural season, 12th among the Midwest League’s 14 teams. . . . Lowe received the Dodgers’ Robert Clemente Award for his work in the community. . . . Galaxy forward Landon Donovan threw out the first pitch.