Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie begins season on disabled list

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“Oft-injured” was used to describe Jed Lowrie for most of his Red Sox career and now his Astros career will be delayed by, you guessed it, an injury.

Lowrie hurt his thumb diving back into second base on March 28, getting upset at Marlins infielder Omar Infante for blocking the bag, and Houston has placed him on the disabled list.

X-rays and an MRI exam both showed no ligament damage, but he hasn’t been able to grip a bat and given his health history the Astros have decided to be cautious with their new starting shortstop.

Lowrie never played more than 88 games for the Red Sox and his latest DL stint means Brian Bixler will make the Opening Day roster.

Mark Melancon, whom the Red Sox acquired in the deal for Lowrie, took the loss in yesterday’s game against the Tigers and then afterward complained about manager Bobby Valentine’s quick hook.

Blue Jays acquire Gift Ngoepe from the Pirates

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MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have acquired infielder Gift Ngoepe from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations.

Ngoepe, 27, made his major league debut this past season. Overall, he hit .222/.323/.296 in 63 plate appearances. He mostly played second base, but also spent time at shortstop and third base.

Ngoepe is from South Africa. When he debuted on April 26, he became the second African-born player to play in the majors along with Al Cabrera of the 1913 Cardinals. He had spent parts of eight seasons in the minors prior to 2017.

In case you’re wondering, Ngoepe is pronounced “in-go-pay.”