Jed Lowrie was placed on the disabled list this weekend because of a sprained right ankle. That should heal within the next 15 days, but the 28-year-old shortstop has another injury that will not.
According to beat writer Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow announced Tuesday evening that Lowrie has been diagnosed with a nerve issue in his right leg. He’ll be in a boot for a week and won’t return to Houston’s starting lineup for at least a month.
Lowrie has posted a respectable .253/.343/.456 batting line with 14 home runs and 36 RBI in 80 games played this season. The Astros entered play Tuesday evening with a 34-56 record, ranking dead-last in the six-team National League Central.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.