Astros to finally promote top prospect as Abreu's struggles become too much to bear

Houston couldn't ignore what one of their top prospects was doing in the minors any longer.
Houston Astros v Miami Marlins
Houston Astros v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

In recent years, one of the hallmarks of the Houston Astros has been their prodigious offense. At nearly every position, the Astros have a guy that SHOULD be among the absolute best bats at the position with Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez, and Alex Bregman being some 2024 roster examples. However, Houston's position players barely crack the top 10 this season in fWAR and they have several guys that they were counting on that have underperformed.

Chief among the Astros' offensive disappointments in 2024 has been Jose Abreu. Once one of the game's premier sluggers, Abreu dealt with back issues almost all of last season and while he showed flashes his former self at the end of 2023, that has not carried over to this ALL. Through 21 games this season, Abreu is tied with the Phillies' Nick Castellanos for the worst fWAR in baseball at -1.1 and he is slashing an almost impossibly bad .104/.164/.119.

At some point, something was going to have to give and it looks like that process started to happen on Sunday with the news that Houston was going to be calling up top prospect Joey Loperfido to the big leagues.

Astros News: Houston finally call up Joey Loperfido to try and turn their season around

Loperfido put himself on the map in a big way in spring training this year and while the Astros ultimately decided to not carry him on the Opening Day roster, Loperfido made that decision rather difficult. He continued his warpath down at Triple-A as he has put up a .287/.393/.713 and leads the minors with 13 homers in 2024. Lopefido has been striking out a bunch which is a little concerning now that he is going to be facing big league pitching, but his upside is too much to ignore at this point.

We don't have a corresponding roster move yet, so there is a few things to think about. Loperfido isn't on the Astros' 40-man roster, so Houston will have to make a move to get Loperfido on it with Jon Singleton's status on the team being the biggest question mark there.

As for the active roster, Houston isn't calling up Loperfido to sit on the bench which means one of their lineup regulars is about to get pushed out in some form or fashion. Loperfido plays multiple positions including center field, so Jake Meyers could be impacted as he still hasn't REALLY hit all that well.

The easiest move by far, though, is to put the aforementioned Abreu on the IL. It is likely that something is bothering him physically anyways and having him in the lineup everyday is costing Houston games. Obviously that doesn't feel great given how much Houston is paying him, but the Astros' 9-19 record just isn't acceptable and hard choices just have to be made.

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