STEVE LOMBARDOZZI, SECOND BASEMAN
|Born: September 20, 1988
Drafted: 19th Round, 571st Overall, 2008 (Nationals)
How Acquired: Trade from Orioles (for cash)
College: St. Petersburg College (JC)
Agents: Wasserman Media Group
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Lombardozzi was a solid hitter in the minors and appeared to get established as a utility player with Washington, but his hitting tailed off over two seasons. It’s doubtful how ready he is to serve as a utility player because, so far, he’s spent the vast majority of his time at second and in left. He’s played only a handful of games at short, only two of them in the majors. Most defensive metrics consider him average or a little below in the field. At the plate, he’s hit for decent averages in the majors, but has little power and doesn’t draw walks. Like many switch-hitters, he’s much better against RHPs, with a .664 OPS from the left side and .553 from the right during his career. The Pirates acquired him from Baltimore for cash.
Lombardozzi played mostly second and a little at short in the GCL. He got on base a lot, but didn’t hit for any power.
Washington jumped Lombardozzi up to low A, where he spent the season as the starter at second. He had a solid season at the plate, getting on base and starting to hit for modest gap power. Baseball America ranked him 28th in the Nationals’ system after the season.
In high A, still playing second regularly, Lombardozzi continued to improve on offense. The Nationals promoted him to AA for the last month of the season and he had a sudden power outburst. BA rated him the Nationals’ 13th best prospect after the season.
The Nationals send Lombardozzi back to AA, then promoted him to AAA at mid-season and called him up in September. He continued to make strides at the plate, hitting for better power than previously. He played mostly second but saw little time at short.
Lombardozzi stayed with the Nats all year, putting up passable offensive numbers for a utility player. He split his time between second and left; the Nats’ two corner outfielders, Mike Morse and Jayson Werth, both missed significant time due to injuries and second baseman Danny Espinosa had to move to short for a month to replace the injured Ian Desmond.
Lombardozzi again mainly split his time between second and left, as Espinosa played his way to the minors and both Werth and Bryce Harper missed time with injuries. At the plate, Lombardozzi declined, in large part because his walk rate dropped from low to miniscule. After the season, the Nats sent him to Detroit as part of the package for Doug Fister.
At the end of spring training, Detroit traded Lombardozzi to Baltimore. He played second semi-regularly in April, hitting for a good average but with no power and literally no walks at all. In late April, the Orioles moved Jonathan Schoop from third to second and sent Lombardozzi to AAA. Except for one very brief callup, he stayed there the rest of the season. He played second, third, left and a little short in AAA, and continued to hit for a decent average with little power and few walks. After the season, Baltimore outrighted Lombardozzi to AAA.
The Pirates acquired Lombardozzi from the Orioles a day or so after they lost Jake Elmore to free agency. The move appeared to be part of an obsession for them with having several veteran infielders of dubious value available for emergencies. Lombardozzi was Indianapolis’ best hitter over the first month of the season, while splitting time between second, third and the outfield corners. When Andrew Lambo went on the disabled list, the Pirates called Lombardozzi up. He made a couple trips to Pittsburgh, but ultimately was designated for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster for Aramis Ramirez. He cooled off in AAA; in fact, he hit very little after posting a .944 OPS in April. His best month after that was .644 in June, and he posted .484 and .543 figures in July and August. He also apparently had something akin to a Steve Sax problem, as he committed 11 errors in 24 games at second and 10 in 18 at third. Most of the errors were throwing.
Lombardozzi didn’t play well in AAA; a utility infielder with error problems like that isn’t of much use. Unless the Pirates add him back to the 40-man roster, which is very unlikely, he’ll be a free agent after the season.
|2015: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: 9/6/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: August 12, 2011
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2014, 2015)
MLB Service Time: 2.058
|June 6, 2008: Drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 19th round, 571st overall pick; signed on June 19.
September 6, 2011: Contract purchased by the Washington Nationals.
December 2, 2013: Traded by the Washington Nationals with Ian Krol and Robbie Ray to the Detroit Tigers for Doug Fister.
March 24, 2014: Traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Baltimore Orioles for Alex Gonzalez.
December 8, 2014: Outrighted to AAA by the Baltimore Orioles.
February 3, 2015: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
May 6, 2015: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
July 23, 2015: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on July 27.