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Lowrie could return before end of homestand

Infielder getting reps at third for Double-A Corpus Christi

HOUSTON -- After he plays in his fifth game of a rehab assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi tonight, Jed Lowrie will return to Houston to be re-evaluated, in hope he can join the club before the end of this six-game homestand.

"We're still hopeful that at the end of this homestand, or very quickly, we'll have a chance to maybe get him back," manager A.J. Hinch said.

Lowrie was originally slated to play a mix of shortstop and third base, but Astros manager A.J. Hinch scrapped that plan to give the eight-year veteran more reps at third -- a more unfamiliar position.

Lowrie, the Astros everyday shortstop before he tore a ligament in his right thumb on April 27, has since been replaced by rookie phenom Carlos Correa, while Marwin Gonzalez and Luis Valbuena alternate games at third.

"Shortstop for him is like riding a bike," Hinch said. "If needed he'll be over there. We've got Carlos here obviously, we've got Marwin, who can fill in anywhere. We'll see how much we mix that back in, but I'm not concerned at all about him needing to play short before he comes back."

Hinch spoke to Lowrie this morning and both were impressed and encouraged with his progress. In four games, he's gone 3-for-10 with a double and 2 RBIs. More importantly, Lowrie's gone first to third twice and scored from second once.

Though he made an error on a slow roller on Monday, Lowrie has handled two or three grounders and a few pop ups, according to Hinch, and the manager isn't concerned with the adjustment of sliding over a position.

"He started out as a third baseman, played a lot of second base in college and started out his career in pro ball as a third baseman," Hinch said. "I don't know that there's much of an adjustment as much as there's just a reintroduction to familiarity, some of the angles, some of the throws, different plays he's got to be involved in."

Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for
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