Astros option struggling Jose Abreu as top prospect Joey Loperfido set to debut in outfield

Abreu is due to earn $19.5 million this year and next.

ByGreg Bailey and Matt Guillermo KTRK logo
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Jose Abreu not with Astros as veteran star accepts option to West Palm
The Houston Astros optioned first baseman Jose Abreu to West Palm Beach. GM Dana Brown said the former AL MVP isn't with the team on Tuesdsay.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Jose Abreu's underwhelming start to the Astros' 2024 season has reached a new low as the ballclub announced the 10-year MLB veteran would be optioned to its instructional league team in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Astros general manager Dana Brown said that the former American League MVP and first baseman was not with the team on Tuesday ahead of the start of a six-game homestand.

According to Brown, the demotion was mutual and effective Wednesday.

"We met with Jose on this, and we both agree that this move will be good for him and for the team in the long run," Brown said. "We are confident that a change of scenery and a new environment will help him get his rhythm and timing back. Jose is a team-first guy, and we applaud him for this. We know what this guy can do, and we're confident in his determination and work ethic."

The Astros will make a corresponding move prior to Wednesday's game.

The Cuba native appeared slow out of the gate, registering just two hits in his first 12 games. But after Houston's victory on Sunday in game No. 22, Abreu owns just two multi-hit games and one extra-base hit in 71 at-bats.

Entering the start of a three-game series against Cleveland, Houston is 9-19 and last in the AL West but 6.5 games out of first place.

The move came a day after the club officially promoted 24-year-old Triple-A star Joey Loperfido, who field manager Joe Espada said will play in the outfield against the Guardians on Tuesday. Loperfido, who blasted 13 home runs for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys in 25 games, can play at first and second bases.

Loperfido is wearing No. 10.

The 37-year-old Abreu is in the second season of a three-year contract, paying him $19.5 million each this year and next.

Jon Singleton, a left-handed batter struggling at the plate, will start at first base against the Guardians.

Loperfido's debut

Joey Loperfido's first at-bat in the majors was an anticlimactic first-pitch contact, resulting in a flyout to start the bottom of the third inning.

However, the 24-year-old's second at-bat kicked off the first of undoubtedly many milestones in his career. With bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, Loperfido cracked a single on the third pitch of his at-bat, driving in two runs in a tied game. In the very next pitch, first baseman Jon Singleton blasted a 431-foot three-run homer.

In that four-pitch sequence, Loperfido earned his first hit, first RBI, and first run scored of his MLB career, contributing to a five-run lead at that point.

SEE ALSO: Astros still have plenty of MLB games left to bounce back despite poor start

The Astros have lost 19 of the 26 games they've played this season. The 'Stros have to play better baseball than the team has played in the last three years in order for the team to have a chance at the postseason.