Jed Lowrie is either trade bait or a player the Astros intend ..."/> Jed Lowrie is either trade bait or a player the Astros intend ..."/>

Astros Place Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro on the DL

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Jed Lowrie is either trade bait or a player the Astros intend to build around in the future depending on who you believe.  Jason Castro was at one time considered Houston’s catcher of the future.  Now, both are struggling and find themselves on the disabled list.

The Astros placed both Lowrie and Castro on the 15-day disabled list.  Lowrie was injured in a collision at

second base on July 14th.  He sprained his right ankle and suffered some nerve damage in his leg.  Castro’s DL stint is retroactive to July 8th when he first started feeling pain in his surgically repaired right leg.  Both are expected to return, but Castro should have a speedier return.  The team and Castro contemplated leaving him off the DL and just having him play through it, but ultimately they decided some rest would do him good.

Lowrie is actually having a better year this year than he did in 2011 with the Red Sox.  He is hitting .253/.343/.456 with 14 home runs.  He only played in 88 games for Boston last year, but he hit just .252/.303/.382 with 6 home runs.  However, the month of July has been unkind to Lowrie.  He is hitting just .188 so far this month leading up to the injury and subsequent DL stint.

Castros was once ranked the 41st best prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season.  Since then, he has been called up to the Astros in two separate seasons.  In 2010, Castro hit .205/.286/.287 in 67 games.  He missed all of last season with injuries.  So far this year, Castro is not faring much better.  He is hitting .254/.330/.379.

The Astros are 23 games under .500, and the loss of Lowrie and Castro won’t make much of a difference in the win/loss column.  However, the injuries could play a role in how the team moves forward at the trade deadline and beyond.

For more on the Astros, be sure to check out Climbing Tal’s Hill.