Flash-forward to spring training or June or July of this season. Jed Lowrie is traded to Oakland or Baltimore or any number of places and there's not a major league-ready shortstop coming back to Houston in return.

Or, in another scenario, Lowrie suffers another severe injury and has to miss significant time next season. Where does that leave the Astros? Who fills in at shortstop? Jonathan Villar probably needs at least half a season in the minors before he gets called up. Tyler Greene has the bat at home, but his defense could leave something to be desired.

That leaves Marwin Gonzalez, a Rule 5 pick who played a little last season and got some time at short. He certainly looks the part of a major leaguer with a big frame and good arm, but does that mean he'll be a good fit to start for Houston? What did the Astros see out of him last year and could it make him a viable option if things go sideways with Lowrie?

Let's break things down into three categories.