HOUSTON - One of the Houston Astros top priorities this off-season was to improve their infield, and the return of shortstop Jed Lowrie does just that. Ryan Smith Jersey .Lowrie played for the Astros in 2012 before he was traded to Oakland and spent two seasons with the Athletics. He rejoined the Astros on Monday when he agreed to a $23 million, three-year contract.We wanted to improve our infield particularly the output of our infield offensively, general manager Jeff Luhnow said on Tuesday when Lowrie was re-introduced in Houston.Jonathan Villar started 78 games at shortstop for Houston last season and hit just .209 with 18 errors. Marwin Gonzalez also saw time at the position, starting 64 games and batting .277.Lowrie said he felt he had some unfinished business with the Astros. He added he was excited to be part of a team thats been boosted by talented prospects who have reached the majors.Theres this influx of young talent that is coming through and theres a willingness to add those veteran guys as well, Lowrie said.The switch-hitter batted .249 with six homers and 50 RBIs last season. His best season came in 2013 when he played a career-high 154 games and hit .290 with 75 RBIs — both career bests.The 30-year-old had a big season for Houston in 2012 and finished with a career-high 16 homers in 97 games. He had a .980 fielding percentage that season to lead all shortstops in the National League. Hes a career .261 hitter with 56 homers and 284 RBIs in seven seasons.The Astros targeted Lowrie and aggressively pursued him, helping him move past the fact that Luhnow had traded him two years earlier.It was one of the contributing factors to making the decision, Lowrie said of Houstons bid to sign him. Being wanted and knowing where you stand with the organization is a good feeling.The Astros hope that Lowrie can help mentor some of the young players that fill the roster. Lowrie said his leadership skills were shaped by the four seasons he spent with the Boston Red Sox to start his major league career. That taught him that its more important to lead by example than to tell players what they should and shouldnt do.I learned a lot from those guys watching them and how they prepared for the game, he said. Thats one of the best ways for guys to learn. Ive never thought that it was appropriate to impose your will on a younger player.Luhnow saw Lowries leadership skills the first time he was with the team. He said in exit interviews at the end of the 2012 he asked each player to name which players they saw as good leaders.Almost everybody said Jed was a leader, Luhnow said. I know he has the leadership capability inside of him.New manager A.J. Hinch, who went to Stanford — as did Lowrie — was enthused to add another player from his alma mater. Catcher Jason Castro and 2013 top overall pick Mark Appel also graduated from the college.But I would have wanted Jed no matter what school he came from, Hinch said with a smile.Hinch said it was way too soon to envision where hell bat Lowrie, but likes that he can fit in a lot of different areas.To me theres a lot of comfort in knowing Jeds here, Hinch said. His preparedness stands out to me representing what were about moving forward.Houston designated infielder Gregorio Petit for assignment to make room for Lowrie on the roster. Davonte Lambert Jersey . Buffalos defensive co-ordinator had his second interview with Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner on Tuesday night, a person familiar with the Browns plans told The Associated Press. Gerald McCoy Jersey . Helwani said that Weidman has been dealing with recurring swelling and pain in his knees related to torn meniscus he suffered as a teenager and the problems came to a head last week when he suffered prolonged swelling and pain in his left knee, resulting in the decision to undergo an arthroscopic scope procedure to clean up the tear in both knees. http://www.authenticbuccaneersstoreonline.com/ . Both had to wait out a rain interruption lasting nearly five hours before taking comprehensive third-round victories to join Carling Bassett-Seguso (1983, 1986), Patricia Hy-Boulais (1996-97) and Daniel Nestor (1999) as Canadians who made it into the second week of a major.AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Hours before John Loyer made his debut as Detroits interim coach, Chauncey Billups offered a preview. "Hes always very energetic at all times," Billups said. "I dont know what were going to do in second halves because he wont have a voice. He always loses his voice in the first half." Billups assessment was spot on, at least through one game. Loyer coached the Pistons to a 109-100 win over San Antonio on Monday, yelling out instructions in a raspy voice from the sideline on a night his team led comfortably for the entire second half. It was an immediate contrast to the mild-mannered Maurice Cheeks, the coach the Pistons fired a day earlier. Of course, sideline demeanours can be deceiving -- and Loyer was careful not to take too much credit for the teams sharp performance against the Spurs. "Its not about me," he said. "Im just glad our guys played hard." Loyer was in his third season as an assistant for the Pistons when he was abruptly promoted after Cheeks dismissal. He was a holdover from Lawrence Franks staff, remaining in the fold after Cheeks was hired last off-season. Loyer has also been an assistant for the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. The Pistons scored 26 points off turnovers against San Antonio and led by as many as 23. "Certain events happened that are beyond our control, but we were able to come out and focus on playing basketball," forward Josh Smith said. "We came out with a big win against a great team." Loyer takes over the Pistons at a time when patience is growing thin. Detroit signed Smith and traded for Brandon Jennings in the off-season, bbut the results have been mixed at best. Demar Dotson Jersey. Even after beating San Antonio, the Pistons are 22-29. They were tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference entering Tuesday night. Detroit had won four of six when Cheeks was let go, so its hard to tell if the win Monday could be attributed at all to the coaching change. Jennings played well for Loyer -- just as he did in the last couple games under Cheeks. "The last four out of six, weve still been playing the same way," Jennings said after the win over San Antonio. "Were just trying to keep it going." Cheeks, a former point guard, was given the task of mentoring Jennings, but Jennings says he can still look to Billups for veteran guidance. Jennings performance down the stretch may make or break Detroits playoff chances. Jennings made a point of saying that Cheeks was like a father figure to him, but he hopes to stay in the offensive groove hes found over the past few games. "Im back to having fun, instead of just taking everything so personally and thinking about too much," Jennings said. "Im just hooping." Detroit hosts Cleveland on Wednesday, then plays a home-and-home with Charlotte -- another team in the mix for the post-season in the East. So the Pistons will have a chance to build on their recent success and create some positive vibes right away for their new coach. "Change for changes sake doesnt do much," Loyer said. "Anybody can change. We need positive change, and I thought our guys came out and had great effort (Monday night), great determination. 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