HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills dropped shortstop Jed Lowrie to sixth in the batting order on Wednesday against the Royals, but he said it had more to do with Lowrie's struggles as a right-handed hitter rather than his overall funk.
Lowrie, who was in a 2-for-28 slump before going 1-for-3 with a walk in Wednesday's 2-1 loss, has hit primarily second or third this year. This was only the second time he's hit lower than sixth for the Astros, during which he's hitting .196 as a right-hander and .294 as a left-hander.
"You can say he's been struggling, but the struggles he's been having are more right-handed than left-handed," Mills said. "We want him in the lineup and he's still potent, especially from the right side where he's had a history of a lot of success. We just bumped him down and we want him to take some time and get back going again."
Lowrie leads all Major League shortstops with 13 home runs and is first in slugging percentage, which general manager Jeff Luhnow believes should get him some consideration for the All-Star Game. The only Astros player in the running in fan voting is second baseman Jose Altuve, who's third at his position.
"It does disappoint me," Luhnow said. "If you look at what [Lowrie] has done, and I'm not just talking about his offense, either, his numbers are better than any [shortstop] in baseball, but if you look at what he's done defensively he's been a very reliable shortstop. I would urge all of our fans, with a few days to go, to put in a vote for Jed Lowrie because he deserves to be in the All-Star Game."
Lowrie appreciates the support of his GM.
"That's nice to hear he has confidence in me, and all I can do is go out there and play the game the way I know how and let that other stuff work itself out," he said. "I would love to go to the All-Star Game. That would be a great honor. I'm more focused on what I can do to help this team win on a day-to-day basis."