Sep 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Jed Lowrie (8) hits a triple against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Houston, you finally have a starting shortstop since, well, Jed Lowrie. Since 2012, we’ve seen guys like Jonathan Villar, Marwin Gonzalez, and Gregorio Petit take over, but none for an extended period of time. And now, Lowrie is back, but in the blue and orange this time.
Now if you’ve been around, you would know that Jed Lowrie had been linked to the Astros earlier this offseason, so we don’t need to go over his stats. The interesting part of this signing is it being a 3-year deal. Carlos Correa is expected to be with the club no later than 2016, but Lowrie isn’t just limited to SS. Once Correa is in the big leagues, you very well could have Lowrie play some third base, sub in for Altuve every now and then, and even DH. Lowrie will help out this team on, and off the field.
But that’s a year away, so let’s focus on his impact in 2015. Lowrie’s signing without a doubt closes a hole in the Astros lineup, and it creates one less question mark heading into the season. The Astros biggest needs this offseason was getting some bullpen help, and getting at least one player on the left side of the infield. If you didn’t believe the Astros were ready to turn the corner with the bullpen additions, then this should help change your mind.
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Now there are still question marks on the team, but this team will have a more solid presence in the lineup. Lowrie being part of the team will make a lot more of a positive influence compared to what Villar, Gonzalez, and Petit could potentially do at SS. Third Base could still be addressed this offseason as there is still a lot of time before Spring Training, but I wouldn’t expect any more substantial moves until then.
One minor move is that the Astros signed Dan Johnson to a minor league deal where he could be competing for a roster spot behind Jon Singleton during the Spring. I’d expect more moves like this before Spring Training compared to the signings of Lowrie, Gregerson, and Neshek. The Astros are expected to make a roster move tomorrow with the 40-man roster being full before the Lowrie signing.
So now let’s turn it over to the rest of Climbing Tal’s Hill. What do you think of the Jed Lowrie signing to bring him back to Houston?