Manzella headed back to rejoin Astros

Manzella headed back to rejoin Astros

HOUSTON -- Astros shortstop Tommy Manzella was on his way to Houston on Thursday following a rehab stint at Triple-A Round Rock, and apparently made room for him on the roster by trading Pedro Feliz to the Cardinals for Minor League pitcher David Carpenter.

Manzella, out two months with a fractured finger, hit .366 with one homer and five RBIs in 11 games combined between Double-A Corpus Christi and Round Rock. He'll arrive in Houston along with left-hander Fernando Abad, who was recalled following Wednesday's game when Matt Lindstrom was put on the disabled list.

The Astros close out a 10-game homestand against the Mets before leaving on a nine-game road trip that begins Friday night in Miami against Florida. It appears Manzella, hitting .212 in 59 games for Houston this season, will be making the trip.

Feliz, who has been a disappointment after a signing a one-year, $4.5-million deal as a free agent, could be a fit for the Braves, who have also been in touch with the Astros and are searching for help at third base in the wake of Chipper Jones' season-ending knee injury.

Feliz, hitting .221 with four homers and 31 RBIs in 289 at-bats, lost his starting to job to rookie Chris Johnson in July.

Manzella could also be used as insurance if the Astros decide they need to put starting second baseman Jeff Keppinger on the disabled list. Keppinger has missed the past two games with a sprained left big toe, but is listed as day-to-day.

Geoff Blum has been starting at second in place of Keppinger and hit a game-tying homer in the ninth inning Wednesday in a game the Astros lost, 3-2, in 14 innings, but moving him without having a healthy Keppinger available would leave the Astros without a second baseman.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.