Abreu swinging hot bat for D-backs

Abreu swinging hot bat for D-backs

PHOENIX -- It was not like shortstop Stephen Drew needed to have Saturday off, though his shoulder could benefit from it, but with the way Tony Abreu is playing, it's getting harder and harder for D-backs manager A.J. Hinch to keep him out of the starting lineup.

Abreu is hitting .372 with five doubles in 43 at-bats this year while starting games at second, short and third. He has been an asset defensively as well.

The one role Abreu has not excelled at is pinch-hitting. He is 2-for-12 off the bench, which means that when he starts, he is 14-for-31 (.452). The reason, Hinch said, is that Abreu settles into a rhythm when getting four at-bats during a game.

"Tony has gotten off to a good start and has made things happen when he's played," Hinch said. "I find myself having to force him in the lineup even when it's not picture perfect."

Drew said his right shoulder has been a "little stiff" since early in the regular season, and he continues to receive pre- and postgame treatment on it.

"It's not a big deal," Drew said. "I can still play. I'm just trying to get it taken care of. I'll be back in there tomorrow."