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The Orioles optioned Steve Lombardozzi to make room for Manny Machado

May 1, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 1.00.48 PM Getty Images

A few short months ago Steve Lombardozzi was considered important enough to net a top-flight starting pitcher in a trade. Then, a little after that, he was only good enough to net a veteran infielder who wasn’t going to make a big league roster (and who was subsequently released). Now he’s a waste of 25-man roster space: he was just optioned to Triple-A to make room for Manny Machado.

Jokes aside, it is somewhat surprising that it was Lombardozzi who got the boot. He hasn’t been tearing up the pea patch, but he has been considerably better than Ryan Flaherty in around the same number of plate appearances. And while Jonathan Schoop has been a bit better than Lombardozzi, it was Lombo who was getting more time at second base than Schoop, who had mostly been covering third.

Not a big difference one way or the other, of course. But it’s kinda odd to think how far Lombardozzi has fallen in terms of perception in the past year.

  1. liamj55 - May 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Still an upgrade at 3rd base than what the Phillies are trotting out there.

    • imthewiz77 - May 1, 2014 at 10:17 PM

      Exactly what I was thinking

  2. no14mike - May 1, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Bring him back to DC.

    • NatsLady - May 1, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      And put him exactly WHERE? Send Zach Walters down? Wait, Lombo can’t play SS. Now that Danny’s carrying his weight… No room at the inn for Lombo.

    • natstowngreg - May 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Loved Lombardozzi the Younger’s hustle, but the Nats don’t have a place for him anymore. Danny Espinosa has had a career rejuvenation at 2B (while Ryan Zimmerman is out and Anthony Rendon plays 3B), and Kevin Frandsen fits nicely as a utility guy.

      Meanwhile, the Tigers dumped the guy they got for trading Lombardozzi (Alex Gonzalez), and the guy they traded to get Lombardozzi (Doug Fister) returns. Though there is hope, as Robbie Ray is pitching well at Toledo, and gets a spot start for the Tigers.

  3. inserthandle - May 1, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    I think it comes down to Weeks having arguably better on-base skills. Hard to have worse on-base skills than Lombo. Duquette’s been trying to improve the lineup’s OBP since he got to Baltimore. A utility infielder is what he has to show for it.

    • inserthandle - May 1, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      As for Flaherty, they’ve wasted a roster spot on him for going on three years. They’re pot committed.

      • joeflaccosunibrow - May 1, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        I would love to know what dirt Flaherty has on Buck, Duquette or even the Angelos’. Maybe he has a recording of a racial rant as well…

      • paperlions - May 1, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        Apparently, every team has their own version of Daniel Descalso…a player that never provides any value, is below average at everything, yet stays on the roster year after year often getting important ABs.

  4. renaado - May 1, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Lombardozzi has been decent with the O’s this season so far and clearly Flaherty is not, stats wise, certainly it should be the other way around.

  5. NatsLady - May 1, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Well, Robbie Ray will pitch this season in the major leagues before Doug Fister will, so there’s that.

  6. randomdigits - May 1, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Lombo doesn’t have the arm to play the left side of the infield. Flaherty is the backup at SS and Third now with Schoop getting an extended look at second.

  7. DJ MC - May 1, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Lombardozzi going down does make some sense.

    Hardy has been ailing quite a bit early in the year, and even if Flaherty is struggling at the plate he’s the only one of these guys* who can play shortstop at a reasonable level. Schoop needs to play everyday wherever he is, so there really isn’t a place for Steve.

    *Obviously I’m not counting Machado himself, since the team will want to keep him at third as much as possible unless and until Hardy is out for a significant period or leaves the team.

  8. dlgdc - May 1, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    This post makes it sound like the trade was straight up Lombo for Fister. Tigers got Ian Kroll and Robbie Ray in addition to Lombo.

    • henny1974 - May 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      More like the Tigers got Lombo in addition to Ray and Kroll, who were the real keys to the deal.

      Ray was the centerpiece.

  9. normcash - May 1, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    This post makes it sound like Lombardozzi was the key player in the Fister deal—-he wasn’t.
    The Tigers regarded Ian Krol and Robbie Ray as the key players…Lombadozzi was the throw-in
    Krol been so-so in the pen so far. Ray has been doing great in AAA and will be brought up
    to make his MLB debut vs. Houston on Tuesday….

  10. weaselpuppy - May 1, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Yup, completely disingenuous comment as anyone that follows that trade, the Tigers or baseball, like Craig should more closely apparently, knows it was Ray as the centerpiece and Lombo as the fungible MI throw in.

    Slow day? Bored? Not feeling creative? Because that was a pretty lazy attempt at trolling/stirring the pot/hyperbole/whatever the heck you were trying to do.


  11. jpalughi823 - May 1, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    this infuriates me. flaherty is straight up garbage…lombo should be here

    • psuorioles - May 1, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      It’s really not that hard to understand… Flaherty is flexible enough to play all 4 infield positions and can play the OF. I understand he isn’t hitting well, but he is the ultimate utility player which is important to have on the roster especially with the injuries the O’s have had early on.

  12. watermelon1 - May 1, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Look, I get that Manny was expected to be the SS. But I don’t see how you move him from 3rd when he’s clearly one if(if not THE) Best 3B in the major leagues.

    I’d argue it’s more important than SS, as he fields bunts and stops those down the line shots that can turn into doubles where as a happier past short is usually only a single.

    And not many guys have an arm like Manny that can get it to 1st to beat decent runners.

    I’d say Manny is not moving to SS full time. He’s just too valuable at third. And especially currently…. O’s have a decent fielder in Hardy.

    • southpaw2k - May 1, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      Agreed, except that Hardy is due to be a free agent after this season. If the O’s do sign Hardy to an extension (which I sincerely hope happens), then I’m all for keeping Machado at 3B and the tandem together. If the O’s choose to let Hardy walk (booooooooooo), then Machado can move to his native SS position.

    • Reflex - May 1, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      That… ridiculous. He would also be a top SS as well, and SS is a more valuable position defensively. Having his glove at short and his bat in the lineup at short is a massive upgrade over virtually every other team in the league. Given that short is more critical than third, if he’s as good defensively there as he is at the hot corner, its a no-brainer to make the switch. If anything, Hardy is the guy you ask to go to third, he’s not nearly the defender at short that Machado would be.

  13. Minoring In Baseball - May 1, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    What a ride for Lombo. It was a bad trade for the Tigers to give up Fister (we’ll see how Robbie Ray looks in his first start, though), and an even worse trade to give him up for 1999 All-Star. Rough road, but wish him the best.

  14. adcbeast - May 2, 2014 at 6:54 AM

    IDIOTS … Lombo goes does for a could weeks until Pearce goes cold or gets hurt and Lombo will come right back ..

    Stop your WHINING

  15. henny1974 - May 2, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Actually Robbie Ray was the key acquisition in the Doug Fister trade which is why Detroit traded Lombardozzi for Alex Gonzalez, a guy they cut less than two weeks later, after Iglesias got hurt.

    Robbie Ray is a left handed starter who was projected to be at least a middle of the rotation guy, and so far in Triple A he hasn’t disappointed with a 1.59 era and 1.13 whip, which made him the easy choice to replace an injured Anibal Sanchez this coming Tuesday.

    Other than that, I guess you’re right on.

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