Lowrie hasn't been played or been able to grip a bat since spraining his right thumb Wednesday. Although tests have shown no structural damage, Mills said Lowrie was still sore Sunday and wouldn't be available until Wednesday's exhibition finale at the earliest.
"He was pretty sore today," Mills said. "They were going to have him try to swing a little bit, but it was going to be an interesting day to see how he came along. I doubt if he was able to do too much, because it was sore when he reported. We'll have to wait and see how he is [Monday]."
If the Astros put Lowrie on the disabled list without letting him play in any exhibition games on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, he would only have to miss the first six games of the season. If he plays in one of those games and then goes in the DL, his 15-day clock would begin the next day and eat into his availability to start the year.
"If this guy's not capable of playing in Major League games to start the season, I don't think we want to put him in that game on Wednesday, because we could lose another complete week of the season," Mills said. "That's a huge concern right now as well."