Jose Abreu's situation after Astros demotion is a really tough scene

The Astros appear to be finding out that the minor leagues isn't a place where they can turn back time.
Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros
Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

Houston Astros fans are well aware of the sad state of affairs that is Jose Abreu's tenure with the team. Ever since the Astros signed Abreu, he has struggled with injuries and hasn't been able to produce at anywhere near the same level he showed when he was with the White Sox and one of the better power bats in all of baseball.

Houston came up with a novel solution to try and get Abreu going by optioning him to the minors. When he is right, he is still a dangerous hitter, but clearly the team and Abreu knew that just running him out their every night in the lineup wasn't working. The hope was that, given some time away and in a controlled environment, Abreu could figure things out.

The reality of Abreu's demotion, though, has actually been a lot more complex and ... empty than that.

Astros fans shouldn't expect Jose Abreu back anytime soon

Abreu was optioned down to minors almost three weeks ago and he has yet to appear in a minor league game. Instead, he has only been taking live batting practice under strict supervision by coaches as well as Astros advisor Jeff Bagwell. Anyone thinking that what is causing Abreu's troubles would be a quick fix had those hopes dashed when the team has refused to even entertain giving a timetable for Abreu's return to the majors -- and they had the chance to answer whether it'd be within a month or not!

The whole situation is just really unfortunate, but trouble was brewing going back to last year. Houston and Abreu can try all the different workouts and swing adjustments they want, but the fact remains that the guy is 37 years old and has what appears to be a chronic back issue that is going to require constant management to get him on the field at all.

With Joey Loperfido handling business since being promoted, it is hard to envision a situation in the near-term when Abreu could or should be an option for the Astros. The team is hanging on for dear life this season, and trying to force Abreu to be something that he may just not be anymore isn't a luxury they have. Hopefully he can catch lightning in a bottle one last time, but that appears to be a long shot right now.

More Astros News from Climbing Tal's Hill