Manzella to play in Dominican Winter League

Manzella to play in Dominican Winter League

CINCINNATI -- Astros shortstop Tommy Manzella, who missed more than six weeks with a fractured index finger in the middle of the season, will try to make up for the at-bats he lost by playing for the Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Winter League, which begins Oct. 22.

"My main thing is that I missed some at-bats during the injury, and I'm looking forward to getting those 150 at-bats back and giving myself enough time to rest up and get stronger for next season," said Manzella, who's hitting .217 with one homer and 19 RBIs.

Manzella has made 17 starts at shortstop since being activated from the disabled list on Aug. 19, and is hitting .234 since returning. He began the year as the starting shortstop, but has split time with Angel Sanchez since he returned.

"As a player, you like your offseason, because the whole season is a mental and physical grind," Manzella said. "That's important to me, but I wasn't able to get as many at-bats as I would have liked, so it was the kind of thing the Astros brought up and asked me if I would be interested."

Manzella hasn't played winter ball in the Dominican before, but is looking forward to the experience.

"It's very hard to get a shortstop job in the Dominican, and I was lucky to have a position to go play, and it was a situation that I couldn't pass up," he said. "It will be a good thing to go over there, get my work in and get prepared for next season."