Mills: Downs worthy of more playing time
Astros manager Brad Mills said Friday versatile infielder Matt Downs is worthy of more playing time. Downs hit a game-winning homer in the ninth inning Wednesday to beat the Rangers and entered Friday hitting .282 with five homers and 19 RBIs despite just 12 starts.
“We want to give him more playing time going forward,” Mills said. “He’s earned that right to be able to do it. We’re going to have to kind of measure things a little bit and pick our spots to give him more playing time, but at the same time for him to be able to have the success off the bench he’s had, he’s going to need some playing time to stay fresh and stay ready.”
Downs was hitting .389 (7-for-18) with two homers and eight RBIs in a pinch-hit role entering Friday, making him a valuable commodity off the bench. That makes it harder to put Downs in the lineup on a consistent basis.
“You don’t want to get greedy,” Mills said. “What I mean by greedy is not getting him those [regular] at-bats and picking your spots late in the ballgame to get him those at-bats at crucial times of the ballgame. That is getting a little greedy. A the same time, he’s a guy that deserves a little more playing time.”