Astros’ Jed Lowrie: Working a rehab assignment with Hooks


Astros Double-A Report: Corpus Christi Hooks (July 20-26)

Houston’s Jed Lowrie began a rehab assignment in Corpus Christi on July 22, after suffering a ligament tear in his thumb on Apr. 28, and surgery a few days later. Lowrie was expected to play third base, shortstop, and possibly first base in anticipation of his return to the Astros. Meanwhile, Hooks bats were active this week, winning only four of seven games, but knocking out 47 runs and 66 hits, including 13 home runs.

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In his first rehab game, Lowrie was 0 for 2 before Jack Mayfield replaced him in the fifth inning. He didn’t play in the next day’s game but was back at third base in the July 24 win over Frisco, going 2-3 with a double, an RBI, and a strikeout. Lowrie went hitless in two at-bats on July 25 and did not play on the 26th, bringing his average to .286 for his first rehab week in Corpus.

The Astros need Lowrie’s bat, however, it isn’t clear yet where he will play when he is activated from the 60-day disabled list. He will likely play primarily at third base, with some action across the diamond at first. It would be a very good thing for the Astros if Lowrie learned to play first base well, as neither Chris Carter nor Jon Singleton is anywhere close to a respectable batting average.

The Hooks bats have returned, as the team racked up 66 hits in seven recent games. For the three games from July 22-24, Hooks sluggers hit three home runs in each game, with Teoscar Hernandez hitting his fourth and fifth home runs in the last six games on July 24. The Texas League leading run scorer has had difficulty putting the bat on the ball all season, hovering around .200 for most of the year, but his display of power (13 HR on the season) and increasing batting average (.210) are encouraging.

Colin Moran has also raised his average lately, hitting .385 in his last ten games, bringing his season average to .300. After suffering a fractured jaw earlier in the season, he appears to be back on track. Catcher Alfredo Gonzalez is hitting .342 in 12 games, and A.J. Reed is at .326 with three home runs in the 13 games since his promotion from High-A Lancaster. Jon Kemmer is batting .309 with 14 home runs in 69 games, and Brett Phillips is at .295 with four triples and a home run in 28 games.

After the win on July 26, the Hooks are 16-14 in the second half, still in third place in the South Division. The overall record of 64-36 is one of the best in professional baseball.

Hernandez still leads the Texas League in runs (69), with Kemmer second in several offensive categories. Kyle Westwood took over the league lead in complete games (2).

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The Hooks retain the league lead in average (.272), runs (524), RBI (476), stolen bases (116), OBP (.355), and OPS (.762). Hooks pitchers have a 10 game lead in wins (64) over second-place Midland. The team ERA (3.41) tops the list, along with saves (31), fewest runs, earned runs, and walks allowed (365, 332, 285).

This week the Hooks play three games at home against the San Antonio Missions, and then four at Midland.

Other notes:

  • The Hooks largest home crowd of the season was 8,001 in the July 20 loss to Midland. The previous record was 6,910 on May 8.
  • C Brett Booth was released on July 22. He was hitting .211, with three home runs, eight RBI, OBP .250, and OPS .636 in 18 games. With the return of Roberto Pena from the Pan American games, and Alfredo Gonzalez hitting .342, the opportunities for Booth were severely limited.
  • The Hooks tied their season high in triples in the July 22 win over Midland, when Brett Phillips, A.J. Reed, and Chan Moon all hit three-baggers.
  • Hooks’ Rodney Linares got his 500th win as a manager on July 24 in the 9-3 win over Frisco.
  • RHP Edison Frias was promoted on July 27 to the Hooks from Lancaster. Frias was 8-4, with a 4.18 ERA, 23 walks, and 73 strikeouts in 79.2 innings. His eight wins tied him for second place in the California League.

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