Astros’ José Abreu: Demotion was ‘Best Thing I’ve Ever Gone Through’ in MLB Career

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Astros’ José Abreu: Demotion was ‘Best Thing I’ve Ever Gone Through’ in MLB Career

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - APRIL 27:  Jose Abreu #79 of the Houston Astros takes batting practice prior to a 2024 Mexico City Series game between the Houston Astros and the Colorado Rockies at Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium on Saturday, April 27, 2024 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

José Abreu believes he is a new man after being recalled to the Houston Astros.

The three-time All-Star was demoted to the Astros’ Florida complex team in May after starting the season 7-of-71 at the plate. As he prepares to rejoin Houston next week, he said that he believes he is in a better place and that the demotion was “the best thing I’ve ever gone through in my career.”

“What I can tell you is my head is in a good spot right now,” Abreu said, per Chandler Rome of The Athletic. “When I was going through it, when your head is not in a good spot, you feel like everything is going down. There was a point, and I’m telling you from the bottom of my heart, I couldn’t even know how to hit, how to field. I was a little lost. But I’m humble enough to recognize that and I’m telling you I’m trying to be the best José Abreu I can be and the one you guys know.”

Abreu’s tenure in Houston has not been smooth. He hit .237/.296/.383 with 18 home runs and 90 RBIs in his first season with the team. While those numbers are not horrible, they are a step down from his career numbers and a far cry from his output during his best years with the Chicago White Sox.

It was expected that he would dial it back and excel this season, but the disastrous start only made this three year, $58.5 million deal look worse.

He acknowledged that his swing mechanics were his main issue and his initial unwillingness to fix them was not allowing him to break his slump.

“I was wrong on my swing. 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), Brantley, Bagwell, Rene, 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 Astros certainly could use a jolt. The team is currently 23-29 on the season and sits third in the AL West. This comes as the franchise has reached the postseason in seven consecutive seasons and in eight of the last nine.

While it’s still early in the season, Abreu improving and helping the lineup is certainly something that could help the Astros flip the script on the season.

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