Could Joey Loperfido take playing time away from Astros not named Jose Abreu?

Let's not pretend like Jose Abreu is the only Astros player who's struggling this season.
Houston Astros outfielder Chas McCormick
Houston Astros outfielder Chas McCormick / Logan Riely/GettyImages

The Houston Astros couldn't resist it any longer. The club is calling up top prospect Joey Loperfido ahead of Tuesday's series opener against the Cleveland Guardians.

By the time the starting lineups are announced, Astros fans will have a better handle on how manager Joe Espada plans to use Loperfido moving forward. While most of the Houston faithful are banking on Loperfido taking at-bats away from the ice-cold Jose Abreu, there are other players who could see their playing time take a hit once the Astros prospect makes his debut.

Loperfido can play first base, and will surely see time there, but the 24-year-old also has plenty of experience in the outfield, which could spell trouble for the struggling duo of Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers.

Joey Loperfido could take playing time away from Astros' Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers

There's no way to deny the struggles that Abreu has endured during what's now his second season in H-Town. The Astros inked the former MVP to a three-year contract last year, and the team will undoubtedly keep him on the roster despite Abreu hitting just .099 on the season. Abreu is still owed almost $40 million before his contract expires after next season. The Astros are not just going to eat the remaining salary left on that deal, so don't expect them to DFA Abreu anytime soon.

Kyle Tucker's spot in right field is safe, but McCormick and Meyers have been scuffling during the early going. McCormick has gotten off to a poor start at the plate, and even the 29-year-old's defense isn't at the same level that Astros fans typically expect. Meyers has shown some pop this season with a .457 slugging percentage, but over his last 35 plate appearances, the centerfielder is hitting just .194/.265/.355.

Most of Loperfido's starts at Triple-A Sugar Land this season have come in center field. If Houston had intentions of playing Loperfido more often at first base, that likely would have been communicated to the Space Cowboys' coaching staff.

Astros fans should expect to see Loperfido in the lineup every day, especially against right-handed pitching. But Abreu won't be the only Houston player who sees a dip in playing time once Loperfido makes his major league debut.

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