Who Will Be Odd Man Out for Houston Astros When Jose Abreu Returns?

The Houston Astros will have a roster crunch on their hand when first baseman Jose Abreu returns to the active roster. Who will be the odd man out?
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Houston Astros have had their difficulties this season, in large part due to injuries and underperforming veterans.

This has caused a roster, and subsequently, a lineup headache for rookie manager Joe Espada.

But there may be no bigger disappointment than first baseman Jose Abreu, the $58.5 million man who has never lived up to the hype since donning an Astros uniform.

His performance was so poor to start the season that the team allowed Abreu to leave and spend time with his family and then spend time with the Florida Complex League before making his way back to the Major League level.

That's not a scenario that happens often.

But with his return imminent, that will once again force Espada to make a tough roster decision. Jon Singleton seems to have the favor of Espada, but his 108 OPS+ doesn't exactly inspire confidence at an offense-first position like first base.

Chas McCormick, a postseason hero just two seasons ago is slashing just .228/.311/.266 with an OPS+ of 70. That is 30 points lower than the avergage MLB hitter.

Then there is Joey Loperfido who has a 136 OPS+ in 39 at bats in 14 games this season. But as all things Houston Astros, the answer is never clear cut.

The right but hard move would be to eat Abreu's salary and cut bait with the clearly in decline 37-year-old and look for a rental replacement at or before the MLB trade deadline.

Instead, Loperfido will likely be the odd man out and will once again have to wait his turn to see MLB action.

Meanwhile, the Astros will be fine with mediocrity at the first base position while they play the game of "who is worse?" all while trying to run down another American League West pennant.

Sometimes the right thing to do isn't always the easiest.

Kade Kistner


Kade Kistner is the publisher and beat writer for Sports Illustrated's Inside the Phillies. An alumnus of Tulane University, Kade graduated in 2017 with a degree in Latin American Studies and a minor in Spanish. Upon graduation, Kade commissioned into the United States Navy and attended Naval Flight School in Pensacola, Fl. He served as a Naval Aviator and was stationed in Jacksonville, Fl. During his time in school and the Navy, Kade began covering the MLB and NFL with USA Today, SB Nation, and Sports Illustrated. Kade covered the New Orleans Saints, Texas Rangers, and numerous other teams within the Sports Illustrated network before launching Inside the Phillies, Inside the Astros, and Inside the Cubs. You can follow him on Twitter at @KadeKistner, or if you have any questions or comments he can be reached via email at kwkistner@gmail.com.