SAN DIEGO -- Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Monday he's had conversations with manager Brad Mills and director of player development Fred Nelson about possibly moving Minor League infielder Jimmy Paredes to the outfield.
Paredes, acquired from the Yankees two years ago in the Lance Berkman deal, is one of the top offensive players at Triple-A Oklahoma City, entering Monday hitting .315 with seven homers, 38 RBIs and 28 stolen bases.
Paredes played third base last year after Chris Johnson was sent to the Minor Leagues but was switched to second base -- his former position -- in the spring. The emergence of All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve has the Astros thinking of ways to better utilize the athletic Paredes, who Mills believes could play a corner-outfield spot.
"It's something we're continuing to explore, and I think there's that conversation and a conversation whether he can handle shortstop," Luhnow said. "I had a long conversation with Fred and the guys down there after [Jed Lowrie's] injury to try to figure out if that's something we want to do.
"I think Jimmy is athletic enough to play any position. Given we made the move back to second at the beginning of the year, we didn't know how Jose was going to develop and now we're looking at a 22-year-old All-Star second baseman who's going to be with us for a while."
Watch for Paredes to get some time in the outfield the second half of the season.
Luhnow hints at Wallace getting callup soon
SAN DIEGO -- The most common question among Astros fans is why is Brett Wallace still in the Minor Leagues. General manager Jeff Luhnow took time Monday to address the situation and hinted Wallace will be in Houston soon.
It was believed when the Astros traded Carlos Lee to the Marlins on July 4 that Wallace would replace him at first base, but he remains at Triple-A, where he entered Monday hitting .286 with 13 homers, 46 RBIs and a .357 on-base percentage for Oklahoma City. Wallace hit .333 in 11 games with the Astros earlier this year.
"Brett will spend the vast majority of the remainder of the season in Houston," Luhnow said. "Right now, there are a lot of moving parts between injuries and guys coming back from injuries and other things that may or may not occur the rest of this month. We haven't made the decision to do it right now, but I would suspect Brett will spend the bulk of the season in Houston."
Luhnow met with Wallace while in Oklahoma City last week and has even spoken to his agent, Dan Lozano, about the situation.
"[Wallace] has maintained a positive attitude throughout, which really speaks volumes," Luhnow said. "He continues to go out there and play. He's getting quality at-bats against good competition. I'm not too concerned about hampering his development.
"Obviously, I think he's capable of helping us win some ballgames, but I feel good about the guys we have on the roster right now. There's a lot of scenarios [in which] he comes up in the not-too-distant future and spends the rest of the season with us."
Astros confident with Gonzalez filling in for Lowrie
SAN DIEGO -- The Astros are content with Marwin Gonzalez getting the bulk of the time at shortstop while Jed Lowrie is on the disabled list with a sprained ankle, but general manager Jeff Luhnow said the club might look for shortstop help if Lowrie is out for an extended period of time.
"But for now in the short term, we feel very good with Marwin playing every day," he said.
Gonzalez, a Rule 5 Draft pick who's a defensive specialist, went 2-for-4 on Sunday in his first game back from the disabled list, the day after Lowrie was injured. Gonzalez bruised his right heel in early June and played in 19 games on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Oklahoma City, giving him valuable playing time he couldn't get in the Minors as a Rule 5 player.
"He did a great job filling in for Jed at the beginning of the season," Luhnow said. "When you have a Rule 5 guy who can play a regular role like that, that's a huge plus. Normally, you're protecting them from being overexposed, and I don't think in this case we have that issue."
Gonzalez entered Monday hitting .274 and was in the No. 2 slot Monday in manager Brad Mills' starting lineup.
"He was swinging the bat so well in Triple-A and playing so well, and we stuck him in there [Sunday] and he swung the bat well again," Mills said. "We get a guy that's aggressive and put him at the top of the order, we're able to do something with him and [Jose] Altuve up there."
Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie and catcher Jason Castro, both of whom were placed on the disabled list Sunday, flew to Houston on Monday afternoon and were scheduled to be examined by team doctors Tuesday. Castro (knee) should return within a week, but Lowrie's sprained ankle is a concern.