Winter Leagues: Andrew Lambo Starts at First Base

In Venezuela, Andrew Lambo went 0-for-3 with an RBI on a sacrifice fly and a run scored. He also struck out two times. The opposing starting pitcher was Carlos Zambrano, who went 6.1 innings. The big news from the game was that Lambo started the game at first base. Late in the game with the score out of hand, he switched to right field, where he played the first two games of his Winter season.

Andrew Lambo has started off slow at the plate in Venezuela
Andrew Lambo has started off slow at the plate in Venezuela

Lambo is expected to compete for a spot in right field in 2014, but having him play first base will give him a spot to move to if he’s playing well when Gregory Polanco arrives in Pittsburgh. There is also the possibility that Lambo could start 2014 as a platoon at first base with the right-handed hitting Gaby Sanchez. Getting him time at first base would at least give the Pirates more options when looking at the free agent market this off-season. Lambo has played 41 games at first base in the minors.

In Puerto Rico, Jerry Sands went 2-for-5 with a double and run scored. Sands is hitting .295 in 13 games, with a .938 OPS.

Ivan De Jesus Jr went 1-for-5 with a run scored, triple and two RBIs in his team’s 6-5 win in ten innings. De Jesus is batting .304 in 16 games.

From Australia today, Sam Kennelly went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Signed as a shortstop, he has been playing second base this season in the ABL and has played third base in the past, but on Friday, he started at first base for the first time. Kennelly is 5-for-17 through five games.

In Colombia from Wednesday night, three Pirates players got into action. Harold Ramirez went 0-for-3, but he reached base twice with a walk and hit-by-pitch. He is hitting .290 in 31 at-bats. Tito Polo pinch-ran in the eighth inning and scored a run. Their team won 7-6 in 10 innings over the Leones club, which has two Pirates players on their pitching staff.

Yhonathan Barrios pitched on Tuesday against the Tigres, while Oderman Rocha took his turn Wednesday night. Rocha recorded just two outs in his rough outing. He gave up a run on a hit, walk and two hit batters. Rocha has pitched three times this year, giving up three runs(two earned) on four hits, three walks and two hit batters in 2.2 innings.

The Dominican and Colombian Leagues had off on Thursday.

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Lambo looked really uncomfortable at first when I saw him this summer with Altoona (in Binghamton). Which position is he less of a liability?


I actually liked what I saw from Lambo’s approach in his limited at bats. IMO he is already better than Jones is. Jones was totally solved by scouts and pitchers around baseball this season.

IC Bob

Looks like Zambrano got the best of Lambo. There is something about him that my guy says he is not going to make it. I just get the feeling that the Pirate brass knows he is not the answer. Its early in winter ball so hopefully he changes my mind. Winter ball is the league to change minds and perceptions. That said I just don’t have any real hopes for him.

IC Bob

My opinion on him was formed back when he got called up. I just didn’t see any trust in him from the management. It would be great for the Pirates if he rips it up down in winter ball but I get the feeling there is something missing here. Maybe its his complete turnaround from years of mediocrity to sudden prospect seems a little much to me.

Mr. Goodkat

My gut says the same thing.

Having said that, I hope the Pirates give him a fair shake through ST and possibly into the season if they can’t find an external upgrade to platoon at 1B. And I hope he proves me wrong and tears the cover off the ball.

I just see more Steve Pearce than I do Chris Davis in him.


Good to see Lambo at 1b. The real question is how well does he play it?

John….I thought I read where De Jesus declared free agency?

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