KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Coming to a new team usually doesn't feel as comfortable as slipping on an old pair of shoes.
But Jed Lowrie, who signed with the Astros in December after playing two seasons in Oakland, arrived at camp on Monday to find he had the same locker at Osceola County Stadium he had when he spent the 2012 season with the Astros. He also saw several of his former Oakland teammates, including Dan Straily, Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek.
"Not only that, but there's guys that I've played with here in 2012," Lowrie said as he got his locker situated. "It's a new manager [A.J. Hinch], there's a new feeling. So I think it's exciting. It's about as comfortable as it could be for a new team."
"I feel happy because they put their eye on me and I'm so happy because they gave me an opportunity to play for the Astros," Valbuena said.
As far as getting a chance to play with Altuve, Valbuena was thrilled. He said he's known Altuve since he signed as a 16-year-old.
"That kind of guy had 200 hits for one year, he knows he can play," Valbuena said. "It's amazing you see the numbers he put up last year."
Lowrie and Altuve occupied the middle of the Astros' infield in 2012, and Lowrie wasn't surprised to see Altuve do what he did at the plate last year. Altuve had a franchise record 225 hits and won the batting title by hitting .341.
"He's shown that ability every year in the big leagues," Lowrie said.