Just over a month into the regular season, the Houston Astros optioned first baseman Jose Abreu. Instead of going straight to the upper levels of the minor leagues, Abreu reported to the team's spring training facility where he has been working to get back on track.

Abreu is speaking about the experience now that he's set to rejoin the Astros in Seattle on Sunday, per Ari Alexander of KPRC:

Said the Astros slugger, “When I was going through it, and your head isn't in a good spot – there was a point, I'm telling you from the bottom of my heart, I couldn't know how to hit, how to field, I was a little lost. But I'm humble enough to recognize that and trying to be the best Jose Abreu I can be.”

Abreu, a former American League Rookie of the Year and MVP, agreed to be optioned after starting his season just 7 for 71 while becoming increasingly prone to defensive lapses. He called it “tough” to accept a minor-league option, but the Astros had little other choice given the depth of his struggles.

Jose Abreu spent just over a month at the team’s spring training facility, where he worked with assistant hitting coordinator Rene Rojas and Hall of Fame first baseman Jeff Bagwell, now a senior adviser to Astros owner Jim Crane.

Team officials continued to applaud Abreu’s bat speed and pointed to a problem with his timing.

Abreu signed with Houston ahead of the 2023 season. He endured a difficult start to the campaign and never found tremendous results with the Astros. His numbers to end the season were not great by any means, but Abreu still had some decent moments in 2023. Overall, he slashed .237/.296/.383 and added 18 home runs and 19 RBIs.

Struggling Astros possibly moving on from Justin Verlander?

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) is taken out of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park
© Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

While the Astros are only 3.5 games out of first place in the American League West, they're currently only 23-29.

Houston reportedly could view Detroit as an ‘interesting landing spot' for the legendary ex-Tiger.

Houston is likely to continue to fight for a playoff spot, but trading Verlander would start to look like more of a possibility should they fall further away from the top of the AL West Division. According to unnamed sources, Verlander could be open to a Motor City return. The Dodgers, Orioles and Cubs are three other teams Verlander could rubber stamp should the 41-year-old right-handed hurler be dealt away from the Astros.