Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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José Abreu returns to Astros lineup a month after being demoted to complex league amid awful offensive start

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USATSI

Veteran Houston Astros first baseman José Abreu is back in the majors after prolonged struggles at the plate led to his demotion all the way down to rookie-level Florida Complex League. The Astros in advance of Monday night’s game against the division-rival Seattle Mariners recalled Abreu from Triple-A. In a corresponding move, the club optioned OF/INF Joey Loperfido to Triple-A. Abreu is batting eighth in manager Joe Espada’s lineup for Monday night. 

The 37-year-old Abreu, who’s signed through the 2025 season, batted .099/.156/.113 for Houston through the first 22 games of the season prior to his demotion in late April. While in rookie ball, Abreu batted .318/.375/.546 with one home run in five games. Then following a bump to Triple-A Sugar Land, Abreu went hitless in seven at-bats. Outside of game action, Abreu put in significant work in repairing his swing while in Florida. 

“I was wrong on my swing,” Abreu said of the struggles that led up to the reassignment to Florida. “The games sped up on you too much and sometimes it’s tough to see where you’re at. I saw videos and everything, but I didn’t see it. But now, (hitting coach Alex Cintrón), [retired outfielder Michael] Brantley, [advisor and Hall of Famer Jeff] Bagwell, Rene [Rojas, assistant hitting coordinator], we all have a good group and we found it. I hope I can show it right away, but it’s baseball and it’s a process. Hopefully I can get there.”

The hope, no doubt, is that Abreu can return to the form he showed as recently as 2022, when he had an OPS+ of 134 in his final season with the White Sox

Abreu and the Astros enter the contest in Seattle with a record of 24-29 and in third place in the AL West. 

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