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Just Who is Steve Lombardozzi and Why His Acquisition is a Good Move

March 25th, 2014 at 6:57 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles made a late spring trade on Monday as they sent infielder Alex Gonzalez to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for utility man Steve Lombardozzi.

'Steve Lombardozzi' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ 

Lombardozzi, you will remember, was part of the Tigers trade with the Nationals this winter that sent pitcher Doug Fister to Washington.

So just who is this guy? Well let us enlighten you.

Lombardozzi is a Columbia, MD native and played his High School baseball at Atholton HS and was eventually drafted by the Nationals in the 19th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. The switch hitting 25 year old utility infielder has played parts of three seasons in the big leagues with the Nats including the last two full seasons.

Over the course of his professional baseball career, he has played four defensive positions including second base, shortstop, third base and left field, with the majority of his time coming at second base. Despite most of his playing time coming at one position, Lombardozzi is considered to be solid defensively all over the diamond.

In 447 career minor league games, Lombardozzi has a career .298 average with a .369 on base percentage and did not hit lower than .283 at any level in any season during his four minor league seasons. In 257 career MLB games, Lombardozzi sports a .264 average with a .297 on base percentage.

Why is the acquisition a good move?

First off, Dan Duquette turned a 37 year old minor league free agent signing in Alex Gonzalez into a 25 year old solid utility infielder that is under team control through the 2018 season and still has time to add to his skill set. Gonzalez was having a phenomenal spring and likely would have started at third base on Opening Day with a lefty on the mound, but this was a deal that stunk of desperation from the Tigers and Duquette pulled one out of his hat here.

'Steve Lombardozzi makes a great play and throws out runner at 1st base' photo (c) 2012, Matthew Straubmuller - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Lombardozzi is the exact type of player Manager Buck Showalter loves as he plays the game hard and the right way. He is able to play multiple positions, thus allowing Showalter to get imaginative with the lineup and Lombardozzi's ability to switch hit makes him even more valuable in Showalter's eyes.

Lastly are the little intangibles that Lombardozzi brings with him. Let's face it, it is good business to bring in a guy who is from the "local" area as it draws interest to your team. He has one of the longer last names in recent memory in Baltimore and it is always fun for fans to see a name curl on the back of a jersey from shoulder blade to shoulder blade.

What do you think of the acquisition of Lombardozzi for Gonzalez? Let the debate begin by posting a comment!


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Tags: Alex Gonzalez, Baltimore, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, Buck Showalter, Dan Duquette, MLB, Steve Lombardozzi

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2 Responses to “Just Who is Steve Lombardozzi and Why His Acquisition is a Good Move”

  1.  Alfred Saggese says:

    This Lombardozzi kid is a great player who was never given a fair chance in Washington. He is a golden glove winner in AAA. When played regularly he hits over .300 with even better numbers with runners in scoring position. With a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs, he is the guy to put up. He led the National League in pinch hits last year. Most importantly he is a TEAM player who does whatever needed to get a win. HE EVEN KEPT HIS MOUTH SHUT WHILE HE WATCHED DANNY ESPINOSA PLAY AHEAD OF HIM WHILE LEADING THE LEAGUE IN STRIKEOUTS. (ESPINOSA WAS EVENTUALLY SENT DOWN TO AAA DESPITE DAVEY JOHNSON’S LOVE OF HIM). IN 2012, LOMBARDOZZI WAS NAMED Washington’s MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER FOR THE ENTIRE ORGANIZATION. Great trade. Go O’s

    •  Josh Michael says:

      Thanks for the comment Alfred! We agree, this is a great trade for the Orioles. Lombardozzi is a hard nosed type of player, which fits right in with the Birds. He has a great track record in the minors, can play multiple positions and can steal a base or two. These are the types of guys that help a team get and win in the playoffs.

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