Setting the stage: Astros manager reveals blueprint for Joey Loperfido's initial impact

THE NEXT BIG THING?

Setting the stage: Astros manager reveals blueprint for Joey Loperfido's initial impact
Help at first base isn't coming anytime soon. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

The Astros have finally decided to add Joey Loperfido to the big league club. One of the attributes he brings to the team is versatility. He's more comfortable in the outfield, but he can also play some first and second base.

We're all aware of the disastrous production the Astros have received at first base from Jose Abreu and Jon Singleton. But that doesn't necessarily mean that's where Loperfido will play initially.

Astros manager Joe Espada said on the Astros flagship that Loperfido will start in the outfield Tuesday night against the Guardians. Espada stated they would like to get Loperfido more comfortable at first base before they decide to start him there.

Also, Chas McCormick is still dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, said Espada. So playing Loperfido in the outfield does make sense on several levels.

But do the Astros have enough time to wait for Loperfido to develop at first base?

Be sure to watch the video above as ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank debate how they would use Loperfido moving forward.

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Javier is headed to the IL. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

Houston Astros right-handers Cristian Javier and José Urquidy will each undergo an MRI after both experienced forearm discomfort.

Javier was placed on the 15-day injured list Monday. Urquidy was pulled early from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land last Friday. Houston manager Joe Espada said before Monday night’s series opener in Seattle that both pitchers will get an MRI on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old Javier threw four innings and gave up a season-high eight hits in his most recent start against the Angels last Tuesday. It was his third start since missing 18 games earlier this season with neck discomfort. Javier skipped his scheduled bullpen Sunday because of the discomfort in his right forearm.

Urquidy was making his third rehab start for Sugar Land when he was pulled after 3 2/3 innings. He has yet to pitch in the majors this season due to forearm discomfort.

Houston recalled right-hander Alex Speas from Sugar Land to take Javier’s roster spot. The Astros also recalled first baseman José Abreu from Sugar Land and had him in the lineup at first base against the Mariners. The 2020 AL MVP started the season hitting .099 with three RBIs in 22 games before accepting a demotion to the minors.

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