Hidden Vigorish

Detailed Analysis of The Pittsburgh Pirates

Down Goes Lambo

The Pirates cut 11 players from the major league camp roster today, the most notable of which was sending Andrew Lambo down to the minor league camp. It was presumed Lambo would occupy the left-hand side of the 1B platoon. He was the front runner for that role coming into spring training, but going 4 for 42 in Grapefruit League action did him in. This opens the door for Travis Ishikawa. Unless the Pirates can trade for a 1B in the next 6 days Ishikawa will make the roster. Many prominent bloggers, and a large contingent of the fanbase, felt Lambo should make the club regardless of his spring stats. The argument has been that his 2013 breakout season in the minors in which he clubbed 32 home runs warranted him being given a “real” chance. I couldn’t disagree more. Players of Lambo’s ilk must continue to earn playing time. That also goes for Travis Snider, Jose Tabata, and even Jordy Mercer. They have not proven to be consistent productive players for more than a few months. This isn’t like the Pirate teams of the past 20 seasons that had a ceiling of about 75 wins. This is a team coming off the playoffs in 2013. They should be playoff contenders again this season. I don’t believe Spring Training stats are all that meaningful, but it is clear that Lambo was struggling. The Pirates can’t afford to turn over the job to an unproven player that is also struggling. I don’t believe Lambo is the answer for 1B. I didn’t think that prior to camp either. But I’m also not writing Lambo off. If Lambo gets hot at AAA Indy he will earn another shot. The key word here is EARN. There can’t and shouldn’t be any handouts to unproven players on a contending team. And that is the most positive thing that can be said about this roster move.

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