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Astros to select 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu from spring training facility in Florida

The Houston Astros will draft first baseman José Abreu into spring training in an attempt to get the 2020 AL MVP back on track.

General manager Dana Brown made the announcement Tuesday, saying they would make the decision Wednesday. The 37-year-old will report to the Astros complex in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Brown said the decision was made after a meeting that included himself, Abreu, coaches and front office staff.

Abreu, in the second season of a three-year, $58.5 million contract, is hitting .099 with just one extra-base hit and three RBIs. In 77 plate appearances in 22 games this season, Abreu has just seven hits.

Brown said Abreu was very receptive during their conversation and had a good attitude toward the decision.

“Jose Abreu is an exceptional human being,” Brown said. “He’s unselfish, and he’s a teammate guy, and he wants to get back to what he was doing last fall. And so, in the middle of that conversation, you could see that this guy is passionate and determined to get back to help his team.

“And so, selflessly, he was OK with a deal to go back to West Palm Beach and get additional bats, getting detailed instructions on what we could do to get him back,” Brown continued.

The Astros selected Joey Loperfido’s contract from Triple-A Sugar Land on Tuesday, and he will likely play first base, but Brown indicated he would primarily be used in the outfield. The 24-year-old was scheduled to make his major league debut Tuesday night against the Guardians in left field, leaving Jon Singleton to replace Abreu at first base. Singleton entered Tuesday hitting .238 with 10 hits and no RBIs.

Abreu was named the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He is in his 11th season in the league.

“It got to the point where he was frustrated,” Brown said. “It’s rare to do that. But I think it speaks to us about his dedication and his commitment and I don’t think he sees this as a long-term thing and I don’t think we see it as a long-term thing term I think it’s more like…let’s go down, let’s make some adjustments again and I think in his eyes he’s looking at it because I’ll be back in a few weeks or whatever it is. It will take to get better.”

Abreu hit .237 with 18 homers and 90 RBIs last season in his first year in Houston after nine seasons with the White Sox. He had four home runs and 13 RBIs in 11 playoff games.

“The bat speed is still pretty good,” Brown said. “So we have to have the right timing, and we have to have the right rhythm, so that he can do it consistently. And so I still feel very optimistic about that.”

Associated Press reporting.

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