Astros may not need to trade for a first baseman after all

Houston Astros first baseman Jose Abreu. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Astros first baseman Jose Abreu. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Houston Astros are getting a whole lot more out of Jose Abreu after a couple of “reset” rest days and the signing of Jon Singleton.

Sometimes, all a player needs is some rest and competition to jump start their production. Just ask Jose Abreu, who has come alive in recent games for the Astros.

Abreu was struggling heavily in May, slashing .180/.286/.247 with speculation growing that Houston would need to trade for a new first baseman soon enough.

The Astros went out and signed Jon Singleton to a minor-league contract on June 24 after giving Abreu rest days to “reset” on June 21 and 23. Abreu responded by going 4-of-9 in two games against the Dodgers, blasting a home run 412 feet.

Those two outings capped a much-improved stretch for the 36-year-old. In the last two weeks, he’s batting .308/.333/.564. His OPS is .897 in that span.

He’s not who he was during All-Star seasons with the White Sox, but he’s coming around.

Jose Abreu resurgence takes pressure off the Astros at first base

The Astros may still want to explore trade options. The pressure to do so is just abating a bit. If Abreu keeps this up, the team won’t need to make a move.

Having said that, Abreu’s resurgence hasn’t given Houston enough of a boost to keep pace with the Rangers at the top of the AL West. They have lost seven of their last 10 games and lost the series to the Dodgers 1-2.

The Astros are heading to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in a three-game series starting on Tuesday. Abreu will need to keep putting up numbers to assure the team he can be relied on as the MLB trade deadline nears.

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