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Lonnie Chisenhall’s brilliance could spell the end of Jason Giambi’s career

Jun 10, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

Jason Giambi Jason Giambi

For every good there’s a bad. For every yin a yang. The yang to Lonnie Chisenhall‘s spectacular .385/.429/.615 yin is the roster crunch it will likely occasion for the Indians. And the odd-man out is probably going to be Jason Giambi.

Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com looks at the issue today, and he sees it pretty realistically: once Nick Swisher returns from the disabled list Terry Francona will have to figure out where to play him, Chisenhall, Carlos Santana,¬†Mike Aviles and Giambi. If you assume Chisenhall has earned the right to stick at third¬†base, that Santana’s recent concussion and the presence of two other catchers is going to limit his time behind the plate and that the DH slot is going to feature a rotation of Santana, Swisher and whoever needs some rest, it’s going to be really hard to justify carrying Giambi, who is basically a platoon DH now.

Some may say too many bats is a good problem to have — and it’s way better than the alternative, no question — but such a state of affairs may very well end the career of one of the best and most interesting hitters of the past 20 years.

If that makes you sad, do realize that this state of affairs also gave Castrovince the opportunity to refer to Nick Swisher as “the $56 million bro,” which may be the nickname of the year.

  1. renaado - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Jason Giambi’s career was over a long time ago, clearly he needs to retire.

  2. pascalswager42 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Funny Craig, I made the same comment in the Chiz story….what to do with 6-7 players for 4-5 slots?

    I’d really hate to see Babe or a bullpen arm get the boot when the “$56 million bro” returns to CLE.

    It’s gotta be time for Terry to bring Giambi into the office ala Tom Beringer in Major League 2 and ask him to be a coach.

  3. Detroit Michael - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Giambi is already setting some kind of oddball record for the worst late career performance if one combines age (in his forties), length of offensive uselessness (78 OPS+ for the last 3 seasons of his career) and defensive usefulness (none). It’s amazing that the Indians have let Giambi continue his career this long.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      He must be a hell of a guy.

    • abigbuck99 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      Giambi has been turning his head towards 1st base before the ball arrives and has missed the ball pretty badly recently. Totally forgetting basic baseball fundamentals of following the ball to the catchers mitt like Lonnie does. Santana was doing that almost every at bat too. that

  4. stephenolszewski - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    We all know Giambi’s there pretty much as a player coach, and I hope Terry is honest with himself and gives Giambi some sort of coaching role on this staff. If Giambi wasn’t in the clubhouse I think it would be a big loss for the team. Every player on The Indians have talked about how huge of an effect he’s had on the lockerroom.

  5. ezthinking - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Well, you can make him a ‘special assistant’ but he can’t be in the dugout. So do you can one of these guys:

    29 Ty Van Burkleo Hitting Coach
    60 Matt Quatraro Assistant Hitting Coach
    32 Mickey Callaway Pitching Coach
    15 Sandy Alomar Jr. First Base Coach
    16 Mike Sarbaugh Third Base Coach
    2 Brad Mills Bench Coach
    45 Kevin Cash Bullpen Coach

    I don’t see how you do. You give him the Bull Durham speech, “organization has decided to make a change,” make him a special assistant if he wants to, or send him off – probably letting him “retire.”

  6. plmathfoto - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    third base is available in Colorado wonder if Giambi still has that glove

  7. stoicpaisano - Jun 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    last year’s worst job, Assistant Hitting Coach, has been replaced by a new worst job: Hitting Coach Trainee.

    That’s where Giambi should be placed.

  8. abigbuck99 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Giambi has been turning his head towards 1st base before the ball arrives and has missed the ball pretty badly recently. Totally forgetting basic baseball fundamentals of following the ball to the catchers mitt like Lonnie does. Santana was doing that almost every at bat too. that

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