The Astros claimed infielder Matt Downs off waivers from the Giants, tweets Alyson Footer. Downs has been assigned to the team's Triple A affiliate. He was designated for assignment on Monday to clear a spot for Cody Ross.
Downs, 26, struggled in the bigs over 148 career plate appearances in 2009-10. He played second base in the Majors, but has minor league experience at shortstop, third base, and the outfielder corners as well. This year marked his third Triple A stint; his power slipped as he posted a .254/.348/.416 line in a half-season. Downs was still considered a prospect heading into the 2009 season, when Baseball America ranked him 24th on their Giants list and published praise from GM Brian Sabean.