Astros drop Jose Abreu bomb on fans after Joey Loperfido promotion

Houston may have found the best possible solution to their growing Jose Abreu problem.
Apr 5, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Astros first base Jose Abreu (79) during the game
Apr 5, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Astros first base Jose Abreu (79) during the game / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday was supposed to be a day of celebration for the Houston Astros. The team made the move to promote Joey Loperfido official after weeks of speculation as to when we could see him in the big leagues. One of the biggest reasons why the news was met with cheers was because Loperfido's promotion presumably meant that Jose Abreu was going to get less playing time.

No one was rooting for Abreu to stink in 2024, but that is just where we are right now as he has put up an anemic .269 OPS despite being one of the highest-paid players on the Astros' roster. The 37-year-old Abreu has looked like a shell of his former self ever since he signed with Houston, with the notable exception of a short burst of offense at the end of 2023.

There was open speculation that Abreu could be hurt again or that the Astros could at least place him on the IL to make room for Loperfido, whether he was healthy enough to play or not. However, the Astros instead placed Grae Kessinger on the IL and the initial roster moves made no mention of Abreu at all. Given that manager Joe Espada said earlier in the day that Chas McCormick is banged up, many then thought that Loperfido would start off in the outfield and Abreu would survive to fight another day.

Now, everything is up in the air with the delay bombshell that Dana Brown dropped before Tuesday's matchup with Cleveland that Abreu was being optioned to the minors to get at-bats and work on his timing at the plate.

Astros News: Houston shocks everyone with Jose Abreu option

$19.5 million is a lot to pay a guy to play in the minor leagues, but giving Abreu actual playing time had become untenable as he had been one of the worst qualified players in all of baseball this year. The truth is that the Astros and Abreu both deserve kudos for finding a solution that tries to get Abreu back on track, but not at the expense of the team's ability to win. Abreu also seems like a good dude that wants to perform and the fact he is willing to swallow his pride to get better and help the team speaks a lot about him as a person.

While optioning Abreu to the minors does solve the "Abreu in the lineup is bad right now" problem, it does raise some other questions. McCormick's hamstring injury creates a hole in the outfield that Loperfido will fill in some capacity, but we can probably expect more opportunities for guys like Mauricio Dubon and Trey Cabbage as well going forward.

The picture gets even murkier when you realize Jake Meyers isn't exactly lighting the world on fire at the plate in 2024. The Astros may have another tough choice to make with him soon as well.

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