Villar was traded to the Brewers on Thursday in exchange for pitching prospect Cy Sneed. As things stand, Villar offers middle infield depth, but he also has the chance to compete for the third base job (he played 11 games there for the Astros in 2015), where the Brewers do not have a strong incumbent. He also gives them the freedom to explore a Jean Segura trade, potentially serving as a stop-gap until top prospect Orlando Arcia arrives. Villar probably has the reputation among fantasy owners of being a poor hitter, but he actually posted a .752 OPS last year (way up from his .653 career mark). He has always had above average speed, and at 24 years old, Villar should still be developing. His role in 2016 is unclear for now, but if he found his way into regular playing time, there would be 30-steal potential over a full season.
Astros third baseman Jed Lowrie (foot) is not in the lineup Tuesday against Texas. Lowrie left Monday's game after fouling a ball off of his foot, but postgame X-rays revealed no structural damage. Even so, he'll get the day off Tuesday as Jonathan Villar starts at third base versus Rangers' lefty Derek Holland.
As expected, the Astros called up RHP Vincent Velasquez from Double-A Corpus Christi on Monday. Velasquez was 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in five starts at Double-A. To make room on the roster, the Astros optioned Jonathan Villar to Triple-A Fresno. Villar was hitting .263 with a home run and seven RBI for the Astros.
The Astros continued to fall into an offensive funk Saturday in Toronto, but don't blame shortstop Jonathan Villar. Villar was one of few bright spots in a lopsided loss to the Blue Jays with a solo home run in the eighth, as well as a single. He sweetened his slash line to a respectable .273/.323/.376 in the process.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is out of the starting lineup for the first time this season, after 44 starts. Altuve snapped a string of 88 straight starts, dating back to last season. He's replaced by Marwin Gonzalez, who moves over from shortstop. Jonathan Villar replaces Gonzalez at short.
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