Remember who the Pittsburgh Pirates hero was last year in the Arizona Fall League? You forgot didn’t you?
Maybe this will help.
This time last year, Andrew Lambo was having a solid season in the AFL.
It wasn’t the first year Lambo did it either, he was an AFL hero before. Last year when the Mesa Solar Sox got on base, Lambo was hot. When the Mesa Solar Sox got in scoring position, Lambo was smoking hot. Last October 25, Lambo was hitting .318 with runners on base and was slugging .636. When his teammates were in scoring position he hit .385. He had an OPS of 1.159.
Sound familar yet? Yeh, it’s the beauty of small samples and we love it.
It was exciting to watch. Lambo was in the middle of making himself a key part of the Bucs future. Or so we thought.
While Lambo was busy tearing up the AFL, the Pirates brass was mulling over the idea of a Matt Diaz/Garrett Jones platoon in right field. (Makes me wonder what ideas they are thinking about this season)
But last October we were busy dreaming about a corner outfielder with some pop playing in PNC Park. We even wrote, “if you’re a diehard Pirates fan, you are well aware that if Andrew Lambo can prove he is that guy, it can only help the Pirates. And surely Neal Huntington isn’t going to get more than $65 million for payroll from owner Bob Nutting. Lambo can help him stretch that number.”
On November 5, it was time for Lambo to get a nod to the showcase for AFL players, the Rising Stars Game.
Maybe it was just an oversight. Perhaps we were just Lambo biased.
Maybe it was the fact that Andrew Lambo had been there before….and done it before. He was old news. When the team was announced, Lambo was third in the AFL in runs scored with 16, third in RBI with 15 and third in total bases with 37. He had three bombs. Lambo was doing work, just like Robbie Grossman is doing this season.
But Lambo was snubbed, …..again.
Like Lambo said in the video from when he was with L.A., it is all about the season. And it took considerable time before Lambo showed the offensive skills he flashed in the AFL. When we saw him in Bradenton, he looked lost. It was whiff city after whiff city. He started the season at AAA Indianapolis and was putrid. He started picking it up around mid season after he had been sent back to AA Altoona.
The Rising Star invite went to Tony Sanchez even though he was playing like shit. After starting his AFL season with seven hits in his first 22 at-bats, Sanchez cooled considerably. When it was announced he had made the Rising Stars, he was in an 0-for-his last 9 and one-for-his last 16 slump with seven strikeouts. His OPS was .625.
Sanchez went on to have himself a shitty season too
The good news in all this is the fact that Sanchez and Lambo were born in 1988. There is still some time.
Robbie Grossman was born in 1989. Like Lambo and Sanchez he has some time too, but let’s trust he doesn’t turn his solid AFL season into a shitty regular season. It would be a little tough for this Pirates fan to handle.