Astros promote 1B prospect Loperfido as Abreu's struggles continue for slumping team

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros are promoting first baseman Joey Loperfido from Triple-A Sugar Land as they try to solve problems at the position.

The team announced Monday that Loperfido will be added to the roster before the start of Tuesday night’s series against Cleveland.

The move comes with veteran first baseman José Abreu off to a terrible start as the Astros have limped out to a 9-19 record, which is the second-worst in the American League. Abreu, who is in the second year of a three-year, $58.5 million contract, is hitting .099 with just one extra-base hit and three RBIs. In 77 plate appearances across 22 games this season, the 37-year-old has managed just seven hits.

The left-handed Loperfido will join the Astros after getting off to a terrific start in Sugar Land where he hit .287 with 13 homers and 27 RBIs in 25 games. The 13 homers lead the minor leagues and he's tied for third with 17 extra-base hits.

The 24-year-old, who is rated as Houston’s No. 6 prospect by, was a seventh-round pick from Duke in the 2021 amateur draft. Loperfido, who is also an outfielder, spent four seasons in the team’s minor league system and was named Astros minor league player of the year last season.

The Astros will make a corresponding roster move Tuesday when he is activated.