05 February 2015

Remembering the Steve Lombardozzi Era

When the Orioles traded for Steve Lombardozzi last March, it made sense. After all, the Orioles shipped Alex Gonzalez to the Tigers for Lombardozzi, so it was far from a high-profile trade. But a long-term fit did not work out. Lombardozzi only appeared in 20 games, and none after May 24. Joe took a stab at figuring out the Lombardozzi puzzle last month.

On Tuesday, Lombardozzi was traded to the Pirates for cash considerations. So let's look back fondly at most of Lombardozzi's finest moments as a brief member of the Orioles.

Here's Lombardozzi's first hit as an Oriole:

You'll note that it's a single. Of course it was a single.

In Lombardozzi's next game, he collected two hits (singles) and made this fine defensive effort:

The video title notes that it's a "nice play." Hard to disagree.

Also note that that play came against the Tigers -- don't anger Steve Lombardozzi, Detroit. It's also amusing that the Tigers thought Alex Gonzalez would be an upgrade at shortstop over anyone despite his not being able to play shortstop anymore. The Tigers eventually released Gonzalez, their opening day shortstop, on April 20.

Later in the series, Lombardozzi again flashed the leather:

After Lombardozzi was done tormenting the Tigers (the Orioles lost the series 2-1), he turned his attention to the Yankees. He collected three hits in a 14-5 win on April 8 (all singles), and he added another single in another win the next day.

In an extra-inning, 2-1 win over the Blue Jays on April 12, Lombardozzi did this with one out in the 12th:

That's right, a triple! It was one of two extra-base hits in his brief Orioles tenure. He then scored one the next play (a David Lough game-winning single). It didn't bring as much excitement as Delmon Young's bases-clearing double in the American League Division Series, but it'll do.

Lombardozzi had an RBI single in a win over the Rays on April 14, and he also helped turn a boring, game-ending double play. Later in the month, he robbed Jose Reyes of a hit:

... and doubled in the same game. Here's proof:

That absolutely should not have been a double, let alone a hit. So let's all laugh at Melky Cabrera for a moment. Lombardozzi had three hits that game, but he appeared in just three more games for the O's and was banished to Norfolk for good.

Overall, Lombardozzi wasn't very good with the Orioles. He had an fWAR of -0.3 and a bWAR of -0.5. He had a wRC+ of 73. So it's not surprising, even with their own struggles offensively at second base last season, that the O's didn't consider Lombardozzi as an option for more playing time later in the season. But he does possess the ability to play multiple positions adequately enough, so maybe he'll be able to latch on to a role with the Pirates in the National League.


Boss61 said...

There was something about Lombardozzi, in Buck's mind and judgment, that was a negative which transcended his serviceable play on the field. Hard to know just what it was for sure, but words like "attitude" "direct-ability" and "work ethic" come to mind.

Matt Kremnitzer said...


Erik said...

Which way did the cash flow?

Tim said...

Lombo is one of those weird guys who local fans love, but who is really just backend bench fodder. Yes, he can play in the majors, but there are about a couple guys per team who can do the same. Orioles have several guys who can do what he does and do it with a higher offensive profile.