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.

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.