Blum ready for increased time at shortstop

Blum ready for increased time at shortstop

MILWAUKEE -- Geoff Blum was back in the starting lineup at shortstop on Wednesday after Oswaldo Navarro had started the previous four games. It's the ninth start at the position this year for Blum, and fourth since rookie Tommy Manzella broke his thumb.

Astros general manager Brad Mills is trying to be careful with how much he uses the 37-year-old Blum, a switch-hitter who was hitting .353 (6-for-17) against Brewers starter Dave Bush entering Wednesday's game.

"I think a lot of it has to do with where we're playing and the weather," Mills said. "I know that might sound silly, but a couple of days in Texas against the Rangers might be worth four days somewhere else. Depending on how the matchups are, and how the pitchers are and who they're throwing, all those things enter into it."

Blum, who played only one game at shortstop last year, started one game last weekend in the heat in Arlington and admitted it was challenging. But he said he'll be ready whenever Mills asks.

"He's smart about it and I'm smart about it, too," Blum said. "I'm going to keep him as informed as I can. I've been feeling good of late, and I'm going to go out there as often as he wants me to and as often as I can."