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Where Does Jed Lowrie Fit in the Correa Era for Astros?

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With Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie getting his cast off his hand and traveling with the Houston Astros, CTH followers are bombarding us with questions about what will happen when Lowrie returns. Earlier in the offseason, the local Astros bloggers were allowed to meet with Reid Ryan, Jeff Luhnow, and A.J. Hinch. Jeff Luhnow addressed every offseason move made up to that time, from those comments I wrote An Inside Look at Astros Offseason Through Luhnow’s Eyes. Below is an excerpt from my post.

"Why give Lowrie a three-year deal when you have Carlos Correa knocking on the door? “It takes three years to get a player like Jed who is a free agent for the first time,” Luhnow said. “Quite frankly, 3-years from now if Jed is the super utility player on a playoff team, that’s pretty good.”"

Luhnow went on to say that Lowrie could be a player similar to Marco Scutaro on the World Series-winning San Fransisco Giants. Could Lowrie become a player like Ben Zobrist who can play second, short, third, and maybe some outfield for the Astros? In the era of Correa, Lowrie is no longer an everyday option at shortstop, so the Astros and Hinch have to figure out how to work him in. Or Jeff Luhnow needs to find a suitor for Lowrie on the trade market, but I don’t see that happening.

Scenario One

Here is my prediction, depending on the health of Jose Altuve, of the 12 hitters on the 25-man roster when Jed Lowrie returns.

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The one concern with this depth chart is at first base, but Jed Lowrie could be enough an athlete to be able to cover first base as well. Yes, you might notice that Marwin Gonzalez is not on the team at the time. If Lowrie can offer the same multi-position skills that Gonzalez offers, than Marwin Gonzalez becomes expendable. This whole scenario depends on the Astros wanting to hold onto Valbuena as the third baseman and carries 13 pitchers.

Scenario 2

The Astros decide to carry only 12 pitchers instead and call up Jon Singleton to play first base primarily. This would cover the backup first base solution because Carter has proved that he is inconsistent with his power so Singleton might be an upgrade.

With this depth chart, Carter would make the occasional start against left-handed pitcher or a power bat off the bench. The Astros will probably try to trade Carter or Valbuena, but they would have to become more consistent at the plate. Valbuena has also had experience at second base, so Jed Lowrie could be the everyday third baseman as well. Valbuena could play third on Lowrie’s off days or when he is giving Carlos Correa a day of rest.

Scenario 3

The Astros straight up trade Luis Valbuena for a middle of the rotation pitcher. Marwin Gonzalez has proven to be a pretty good backup guy over his career. If Valbuena is traded, Jed Lowrie would become the starting third baseman for the playoff push.

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While the Astros will miss Valbuena’s 16 home runs at the moment, but will welcome Lowrie’s overall leadership and batting ability. Valbuena is a good defender as well while Lowrie has not really played much there. It’s really too early to speculate as to what can happen between now and then because we don’t know what injuries or trades will occur.

What is known is that Lowrie will be a big part of the Astros success this season as he was the Astros best hitter when he went down. When he returns, he will add to the Astros success.

Which scenario do you like best? Vote below.

Next: Astros Chat: Carlos Correa the Seasoned Vet

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