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Jason Giambi is back on the Indians’ roster at age 43

Apr 21, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

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Jason Giambi began the season on the disabled list with a broken rib, but the 43-year-old designated hitter is back on the Indians’ active roster now.

Giambi got a lot of credit for being a positive influence in Cleveland’s clubhouse last season and previously he’s been talked about as someone who could immediately go into coaching, but it’s unclear if he’s still a decent enough hitter to actually add value to a 25-man roster.

He can still draw walks and smack the occasional homer, but last season Giambi hit .183 in 71 games for his second straight year with a sub-.700 OPS.

  1. southernballhawk1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Still living the dream…. nothing wrong with that!

  2. asimonetti88 - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    He may have used steroids, but it’s hard to deny this guy truly loves the game. How often do you see a former star like him allow himself to transition into a role player and even end of the bench kind of guy, just so he can keep living all of our dreams and play Major League Baseball? Good for Giambi.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      Rickey did it. Raines, too. I hate when people say that players need to “hang it up.” So long as they recognize where their skill set puts them in the roster hierarchy, why not keep doing what you love for as long as humanly possible?

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Exactly, I love it. Obviously there are a few cases where they really should “hang it up” (I’m blanking on recent baseball examples, but Steve Nash in the NBA is an example- his body has given up on him even though his skills haven’t), but overall, why wouldn’t you play the game you love as long as you can?

      • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        Allen Iverson, probably (although he also had issues accepting a reduced role, but I don’t think he could have continued even as a sparkplug off the bench).

        Have you watched his “Approaching the Finish Line” series? With everything I’ve heard about it, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it. Don’t think I could handle the sadness.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        Sorry, that made no sense. Baseball examples – Jorge Posada was completely done that last year of his contract.

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        The Basketball Talk site has been posting the Steve Nash documentary but I also haven’t been able to get myself to watch it. Like you said, it sounds a bit too depressing. Posada is a good example.

      • roundballsquarebox24 - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

        I totally agree with this. I believe that these guys really just love the game. One of my favorite players was Julio Franco. That man retired at the age of 47!

  3. braddavery - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    But Jim Thome can’t get on a roster when he’s most likely better/more valuable than Giambi is at this point…

    • Kevin Gillman - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Even when Thome played his last season, he didn’t get the big hits that Giambi had last season. Sure, his numbers weren’t that great, but what Aaron failed to mention is that Giambi hit a walk-off shot in the final week of the season that if he hadn’t hit, the Indians wouldn’t have been in the postseason, since they needed all 10 wins to get in. This is what makes baseball so fun. It’s rare to see a 43-year old man make an impact on their respective teams like Giambi did last season.

      • braddavery - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        He’s certainly fortunate to have the opportunities that many older players with gas left in the tank don’t get due to ageism in baseball.

      • Kevin Gillman - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        Oh yeah he does, but give him credit, he takes those opportunities and does the best he can. I honestly thought last season was his last year, but I guess not. He can go to coaching when he wants to.

    • straightouttavtown - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      They both should be employed. Ageism is ruining the game. At least the Mets are giving Bobby Abreu a chance.

      • braddavery - Apr 21, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        There are definitely a lot of older players who hold on too long who simply can no longer perform at a higher level, but for every 10 of them there is a Giambi or a Thome or an Abreu who still have something to offer the game who can’t can’t latch on simply because they are deemed too old. I like that that Giambi is still at it and I love that Abreu is being given a fair chance, but there are still guys who are ran out of the game based only on their age and it does suck sometimes.

    • miguelcairo - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      None of us here have any way of knowing that.

  4. sabresfanallday - Apr 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Terry says he goes to giambi for advice before some of his coaches

  5. ggallin4evr - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Julio could probably bat .250 today! Great, great hitting old dude!

  6. stoicpaisano - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Dammit Elliot Johnson is still on this team?

    When does Jose Ramirez get talked about as a real prospect? Hit two homers tonight and has an OPS in the mid-800s as a middle infielder. Oh, he stole 37 bases last year (granted, an average success rate) and is the youngest batter in AAA this season.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:20 AM

      This Jose Ramirez? http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=ramire014jos

      Yeah, I think you may be overselling him just a bit.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:23 AM

        Keith Law:

        “Dorssys Paulino, Trevor Bauer and Jose Ramirez all had disappointing years, although both infielders were very young for where they played and I’m still fairly bullish on their futures.”

        He also has him #6 among Indian prospects. That make you feel better?

      • stoicpaisano - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        He just seems to fall through the cracks, maybe it’s due to the focus being on Lindor. Perhaps I put too much value on age adjustment for level. Not putting Ramirez forth as a Lindor/Bogaerts level prospect, but I think he’s a top 50-100 guy who could be a regular for awhile (though maybe not in Cleveland if Lonnie is putting it together).

        Granted, it is just a month but he’s hitting away from the Huntington Park launchpad as well, unlike Aguilar.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        I think you’re more buying in on his resurgence too fast. When I posted the link to his B-Ref page this morning, they still had his OPS in the low-.700s – a single game has far too much impact on his line this early in the season. I think if he’s got a .333/.371/.508 line as a 21 y.o. in August there’s a lot more reason to get excited.

  7. stoicpaisano - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    I agree with you on the sample size issue. That said, the kid had an approx. 380/470/830 career slash line heading into 2013. Now, it was only 480 ABs, but they were all in Stateside leagues.

    Last year, they decide to skip Ramirez over A+ ball and straight to Akron, where he was not overmatched (325/349/674). Most importantly, he kept his plate discipline, with a 39:41 BB:K ratio. The organization thought highly enough of Ramirez to use him in a playoff race, where he didn’t embarrass himself in a tiny 15 plate appearance sample. He was one of three 20 y.o. in the Eastern League, next to Bogaerts (top 10 prospect) and PHI’s Maikel Franco (B-Pro’s #52 prospect).

    Again placing lots of value on the age thing, but I just think he got downgraded a bit too much for the 2013 performance. Now, his BABIP is .333 thus far in 2014, but if Ramirez can sustain a 350/450/800 line — home & away — with 30 steals and decent MIF defense at 21 y.o., that’s something real. Just keep fingers crossed that we run into a ‘good’ problem like this.

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