HomeMLB RumorsAL West Notes: Abreu, Urquidy, Trout, Adams

AL West Notes: Abreu, Urquidy, Trout, Adams

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The Astros are set to welcome first baseman Jose Abreu back into the fold in the coming days, as Abreu himself told reporters (including The Athletic’s Chandler Rome) earlier today that he’s set to fly to Seattle tomorrow ahead of the club to meet them for the club’s three-game set against the Mariners, which is set to begin on Monday. Abreu had previously been expected to join Houston in Oakland for a three game set against the A’s, but the club instead decided to get the veteran a few extra games in the minors.

Abreu, 37, struggled through a down season at the plate last year in his first season with the Astros but began to heat up somewhat late in the season, providing optimism for his second year with the club. Unfortunately, the hot stretch didn’t carry over and the veteran posted a disastrous .099/.156/.113 slash line in 22 games before agreeing to be optioned to the minors in an attempt to overcome the deep struggles that had been plaguing him. Since then, Abreu has appeared in six games in the minor leagues and slashed a respectable .280/.357/.480 in 28 trips to the plate.

If Abreu can show anything close the offensive performance he offered during his time with the White Sox, for whom he never posted a wRC+ less than 14% better than league average, it would provide a huge boost to an Astros club that has scuffled in the early going and currently sits 3.5 games out of first place in the AL West with a 23-29 record that puts them behind both the Mariners and Rangers. Jon Singleton has performed admirably at first base in Abreu’s absence with a 110 wRC+ in 38 games this year, but that includes a paltry .206/.290/.324 slash line against left-handed pitching this year. Abreu, by contrast, produced well against southpaws even last season, when he hit a decent .235/.296/.444 against them in 179 trips to the plate.

More from around the AL West…

  • Sticking with the Astros, right-hander Jose Urquidy suffered a tough setback today after exiting a rehab start due to what manager Joe Espada termed “right forearm discomfort,” as relayed by Matt Kawahara of the Houston Chronicle. Urquidy is undergoing evaluation to determine the severity of the issue, but even a brief setback would be an unfortunate turn of events for Houston. Urquidy had been expected to return to the club at some point within the next week, and in doing so would have offered the Astros some much-needed pitching depth amid deep struggles in the rotation. The club is currently utilizing a six-man rotation of Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown, Spencer Arrighetti, and Ronel Blanco, but only Blanco and Verlander have been above average by measure of ERA+ and no one in that group has posted a FIP below 4.00 this season.
  • Angels superstar Mike Trout spoke to reporters (including MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger) prior to today’s game against the Guardians earlier today and offered an optimistic update regarding his rehab from meniscus surgery earlier this month. While Trout didn’t provide a timetable for his return, he noted that he’s “feeling good” as he regains strength in his leg while resuming weight room activity, and added that he’s “pretty close” to beginning to run again. The star center fielder was off to another great start this year prior to the injury, slashing .220/.325/.541 despite a shockingly low .194 BABIP thanks in part to a whopping 10 homers in 29 games. Reporting at the time of his surgery suggested a four-to-six week recovery period was the best case scenario for Trout’s return, although the Angels have since indicated that they’re going to take Trout’s rehab slowly in order to minimize the odds of re-injury.
  • The Athletics had a bit of a scare regarding right-hander Austin Adams earlier today in their game against Houston when he was removed from the game due to a bout of left neck tightness. Fortunately, manager Mark Kotsay told reporters (including Martin Gallegos of MLB.com) after the game this evening that Adams is day-to-day and probably could have pitched through the issue if necessary, though the club preferred not to risk it. One of several journeymen making the most of their time in Oakland, Adams has been excellent for the A’s this season as he’s pitched to a 2.65 ERA with a 3.01 FIP across 23 appearances with a whopping 32.9% strikeout rate. Adams has acted as the primary set-up man to star closer Mason Miller this season, and the 33-year-old is controlled through the end of next season, a fact that could make him a particularly attractive target at the trade deadline this summer if he can stay healthy and effective.

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