Recommendation: If Lowrie cannot play by Opening Day, Marwin Gonzalez and Matt Downs are the top candidates to replace him. Downs is more of a first and second-baseman, and would be over-matched defensively at shortstop. Gonzalez, on the other hand, is a true shortstop, but is having a rough spring at the plate (.147/.268/.176). Given the lack of good alternatives, look for the Astros to get Lowrie back into the lineup as soon as possible.
- Matt Downs