Grievance for Abreu is filed by union

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Times Staff Writers

The players’ union has filed a grievance against the Dodgers on behalf of rookie infielder Tony Abreu, challenging the propriety of Abreu’s assignment to triple-A Las Vegas on July 18.

Abreu and his agent, Scott Boras, contend that the abdominal injury the player had at the time of his demotion was serious enough that he should have been placed on the major league disabled list instead of being sent down. By being put on the disabled list, Abreu would have continued to draw a major league salary and accrue service time.

The grievance was filed after a union investigation that lasted nearly a month. Boras said he submitted the records of two doctors showing that Abreu was hurt before being optioned. An arbitrator will hear arguments from the Dodgers and the union and could then rule Abreu is due back pay and big league service time.


“These matters about the collective bargaining agreement and the enforcement of it are union matters,” Boras said. “Obviously, their opinion, after reviewing the evidence, is that Abreu is deserving of the service time and was in fact injured in July, way before he was optioned out.”

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti refused to comment on the matter, as did Abreu.

Abreu won’t play again this season because of a strained hip he suffered in Arizona last Sunday. Trainer Stan Conte said the injury was related to the abdominal strain Abreu had in July.

The course of treatment for the injury is undecided and surgery hasn’t been ruled out. Boras said Abreu would visit a specialist in Philadelphia when the season ends.

Barry Bonds was in the visitors’ clubhouse Friday, but he had his right foot in a boot. He said the condition of his sprained right big toe worsened after playing Wednesday in San Francisco in what he had said would be his last game in a Giants uniform.

“But that’s life,” Bonds said. “I’ve been there.”

Although the Dodgers are destined to finish fourth in the National League West, some players still have shots at significant statistical milestones during the final weekend.

With two games left in the season-ending series against San Francisco, center fielder Juan Pierre needs four runs to reach 100 for the fourth time in seven seasons and seven hits to reach 200 for the fourth time in five years. And All-Star catcher Russell Martin, who is hitting .295 and did not play Friday, has an outside chance to finish with a .300 batting average.


“I haven’t given it much thought to be honest,” said Pierre, who went two for four Friday but did not score. “It would be cool. I realize I’m close.”

Martin also downplayed the stats.

“To me it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “Hitting .300 just sounds good. When it’s all said and done, at the end of your career, those are the numbers that matter. I’d like to end up with a .300 career average. That’s saying something.”

Pierre, one of eight major leaguers to have played in all of his team’s games this season, also figures to appear in 162 games for the fifth consecutive year.

“The contract says 162,” said Pierre, who has the longest active games-played streak in baseball. “It’s a pride thing also. I want to go out there every day no matter what. Not just because we’re in the race.

“I feel like I owe it to myself and to the fans . . . to go out there and play hard every day.”

Rookie left-hander Eric Stults will start Sunday’s season finale even though he pitched in relief Thursday.


“He might go three [innings], he might go four or five, six. It just all depends on how he’s going,” Manager Grady Little said.