Giambi Having Very Underrated Year.
Jason Giambi once held a press conference for the media and admitted to using “something,” which was steroids of course. And he came forward for making this mistake, even if he left the door open a little while doing it…in more ways than one. Then, after everyone counted him, including myself, to an extent, he started performing again. I never thought that he was going to be a bad player though. As a matter of fact, I defended Giambi’s starting role last season when people were calling for Mientkiewicz because he had such a good glove, at, “cough,” first base. The point was that Giambi could always get on base, and always hit for power while he was doing it. Doug Mient, only had one thing to offer, and that was the ability to turn a few plays into outs over Giambi (I also felt that Mient could benefit from the short porch, something that Giambi benefits from anyway though). But Giambi’s offensive contribution at the position was always more valuable then what Mient brought, and it wasn’t all that close. Now I admit, I felt that the Yankees should have tried to find a way to rid of Giambi because he was being payed an absurd amount of money. And I still believe that, although just letting him walk after the season is the most logical move at this point, as they don’t have anyone to produce like he has for the rest of the season. But he has been good this season, and some people don’t seem to be paying attention.
At the beginning of the year when he was batting like .191, he still had a .350 OBP or so, if I recall correctly. So he was taking his walks, while he was struggling swinging the bat. Another Jamesian defined quality (walks help alleviate slumps). And there was little doubt that his average would jump up, at least some. But of course there were skeptics. No one knows for sure how much steroids helps performance in baseball, so naturally we all felt that he may be suffering the natural effects of not being on them. But then Giambi was all of a sudden back on track. His average is only .258, but more importantly his OBP is a very good .392. He has walked one more time than he has struck out. And has slugged a percentage of .560! OPS+ 57% better than the league average.
The slugger has a few flaws. He isn’t a good first baseman on the defensive side of the ball, and regardless of what he has done this year defensively, is never going to be. Giambi has had trouble against “power” pitchers this year, leading us to believe that maybe he has lost some bat speed? At the age of 37, I wouldn’t doubt it. But even against the power pitchers in the league he has still found a way to get on base, it is just that his slugging is much lower against these types of pitchers, naturally. He has performed poorly with runners in scoring position, but doing this poorly is more of the deficiency in a small sample size. With runners on in general, Giambi has good numbers in about twice as many plate appearences.
But when all is said and done this year, Giambi will have a good enough year. He may not finish like this, but one can almost guarantee he stays above average all year. Of course, no one, no matter which team they watch on a daily basis, can deny the fact they have thought that Giambi is back on some kind of PED, whether it be some new undetectable substance or whatever. It is just our nature. But Hopefully he is not.