Jed Lowrie, the Astros Infield Rotation, and the Trade Market


Astros fans, the moment you have waited for is here, the Astros infield is getting a big bat to play third base. In a trade with the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Astros receive INF Jed Lowrie in exchange for CTH writer Issa Cook. I’m kidding about the Cook part of this, but the Astros get what is equivalent to an impact bat for the stretch drive. On July 30th, Jed Lowrie will suit up for the Astros for the first time in a while.

When Lowrie slid into home plate in a game on April 27th, he injured his thumb that kept him out for about 12 weeks. Lowrie signed a three-year deal with the Astros to play shortstop until Carlos Correa was ready. While Lowrie was healing, the Astros made a change at shortstop and promoted their super prospect Correa, who has shown the skills to be at shortstop for years to come.

During Lowrie’s stint in Double-A, he played exclusively at third base. When I watched him play on Monday, he seemed to short arm one throw and let a ball go right past his glove into left field corner for two errors. There will be an acclimation period where Lowrie will have to get used to the way the ball comes off the bat. However, the question will be how does A.J. Hinch distributes the playing time with all the infielders. Jon Singleton seems to have been given extra 1-ups, because he survived the cut, and Roberto Hernandez did not.

Let’s look at the current infield situation.

First Base

Chris Carter

Jon Singleton

Marwin Gonzalez

Second Base

Jose Altuve

Marwin Gonzalez


Carlos Correa

Jed Lowrie

Third Base

Jed Lowrie

Luis Valbuena

Well, this will not be an easy task to manage. Preston Tucker could sit against tough left-handers, Evan Gattis can play left field, and one of the extra infielders can play designated hitter. This includes Jed Lowrie who has lost his natural shortstop position, so the Astros might want to keep his bat in the lineup but not on the field. It was assumed that Gonzalez would become expendable when Lowrie returned, but with his recent play, the Astros can’t afford to lose his all-around skills.

So what would the lineup look like when the Astros are facing a right hander or left hander? Let’s take a look at the 2015 splits for each player who can play in the infield.

Carter’s split doesn’t give much separation versus the type of pitcher he faces, his numbers are low either way. While Singleton struggles against right-handed pitching. Jose Altuve will play almost every game, but when he does sit, it should be against a tough right-hander.  Like Singleton, Gonzalez does better against the lefties, so Carter will continue to get starts against right-handers. At third base, Lowrie should get the starts against left-handed pitchers while Valbuena getting starts against right-handers.

While Singleton can still be sent down to Triple-A, I see Carter as being the odd-man out if the Astros need more arms for the bullpen. While Carter does have 17 home runs, besides walking, he doesn’t do much else. If Singleton or Carter are traded, I see Gonzalez and Valbuena working their way into playing time at first base.

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Either way, don’t expect a trade for infield help with Lowrie coming back. Adam Lind and Yonder Alonso have come up as trade options, but it will be nice to see Lowrie back in Houston.

Next: Houston Astros Trade Rumors: Yoenis Cespedes

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