Navarro eager for chance with Astros

Navarro eager for shot with Astros

HOUSTON -- Infielder Oswaldo Navarro, who had his contract purchased after the Astros released Kaz Matsui late Wednesday, joined the club Thursday and was eager for another shot at the Major Leagues. Navarro appeared in four games with Seattle in 2006 and was 2-for-3.

"I think I was too young when I got to the big leagues the first time," Navarro said. "I have more experience and more at-bats, and I have a good mental side working for me and more concentration. That helped me put up some good numbers at Triple-A."

Navarro, 25, hit .312 with four doubles, one triple, three homers and 19 RBIs in 20 games for Triple-A Round Rock. He had a .418 on-base percentage and a .506 slugging percentage, but the thing the Astros like about him is his versatility. He can play shortstop, second base and third base.

"His best position probably right now might be second, but at the same time he's very versatile and gives us more options to make more switches," Astros manager Brad Mills said.

Mills was limited with his options prior to the team cutting ties with Matsui, a switch-hitter who can play only second base.

"Any time you have more options the last two or thee innings of the ballgame, that's big," Mills said. "[Navarro] was playing shortstop very well down there. We saw him at third base and second base at Spring Training and we know he's got the ability to play those positions."