PITTSBURGH -- Injuries to Jed Lowrie, who hasn't played since July 14 with knee and nerve issues, and Marwin Gonzalez, who tore a ligament in his ankle last week, have left the Astros a little short-handed at shortstop, despite the expanded roster. The only true shortstop is starter Tyler Greene.
Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said Matt Downs and even Jose Altuve could play shortstop in a pinch late in games, but don't expect to see Brett Wallace on the left side of the infield. Wallace played 10 games at shortstop for DeFrancesco this year at Triple-A Oklahoma City, but he's not prepared to put him there.
"He's proven himself as an everyday first baseman, and we're excited about the way he's coming along and the consistency of his at-bats," DeFrancesco said.
Greene has started 20 games for the Astros at shortstop since they acquired him in a trade with the Cardinals, including the last 13 in a row. Downs has appeared in only five games in the Major Leagues at shortstop, playing one inning there this year.
The Astros are hopeful Lowrie can get back on the field soon, beginning with a Minor League rehab assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi, which opened the playoffs Wednesday.