If you're not a superstar caliber player, one way you can make yourself more
valuable is to show a bunch of versatility. Chase Lambin has done just that and
has played at seven different positions on the field, missing just the catcher's
and pitcher's positions on the field. Lambin knows that as a .273 career hitter
in the minors, his numbers aren't all that bad, but his added versatility makes
him much more valuable to the Nationals or any other team that Lambin might wind
up playing for in the future.
"I actually kind of enjoy it [playing a number of positions]. I guess
it's nice to come to the park and know where you'll be playing, but I just try
to stay sharp and do a good job no matter where I'm playing," explained
The 31 year-old has been kicking around in the minors for eight years now,
with another year in the Japanese Professional League. Most of his time in the
minors was spent in the Mets organization, with two more seasons in the Marlins
system and he's now is in his first year with the Nationals. Lambin is hoping
that this time, he's found a home that will allow him a chance to make his major
league debut. "I'm like everyone else in the minors, I obviously want to
play in the majors and I think that I can help a club and it would be great if
it was in Washington," said Lambin as he prepared for the Triple-A All-Star
Game last week.
Lambin truly is like a lot of other minor leaguers, who don't necessarily put
up huge minor league numbers, they don't hit for a ton of power and they don't
have a ton of speed or play Ozzie Smith-like defense. They're just good players
who do a lot of things well, although don't necessarily do any of them well
enough to get enough attention for themselves. Some players spend an entire
career in the minors, putting up decent numbers, bouncing from club-to-club and
in the end, don't have a day in the majors to show for any of their efforts.
At Syracuse this season, Lambin has played first, second, third, left and
right and is hitting .280 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.
Lambin is going through the struggles that many minor league players go
through and many fans refuse to realize. Outside of baseball, Lambin has a
personal life that needs some of his attention. Lambin has been married just
over a year-and-a-half and within a week after he was married, was headed to
Japan to start a career with the Chiba Lotte Marines and manager Bobby
Valentine. His season in Japan didn't go well on the field, but Lambin admits
that he enjoyed the experience and enjoyed his time in Japan, but perhaps the
biggest thing that it did was to give him a new perspective on minor league
"It really was a unique experience and it sort of re-charged me to play
back here in the states again," said Lambin. "Now, I think I have an
even greater respect for the game and just what it means to me."
For now, Lambin continues to fight for enough respect to get himself a shot
in the majors. If there is anything right with the world, guys like Lambin
deserve at least one shot at spending some time in the majors.