Oakland Athletics 2016 Preview: Outfielder Andrew Lambo

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Mar 23, 2015; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Andrew Lambo (15) hits a RBI single during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2015; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Andrew Lambo (15) hits a RBI single during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Outfielder Andrew Lambo was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics on November 6, 2015

The 2015 season was not great for outfielder Andrew Lambo. He began the season on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Opening Day roster, but was soon plagued with injuries. He first went on the disabled list in May with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. In July, he suffered a setback, which caused him to miss the remainder of the season. Last year was suppose to be his first full season in the big leagues, but Lambo only played in 20 games.

Throughout the games he played last season, Lambo only hit 0.040. That is only one hit over 25 at-bats. Additionally, he struck out eight times. Despite being consistent in the Minor Leagues in previous years and showing potential in the Majors in 2013 and 2014, Lambo could not seem to get into a good groove at the beginning of the 2015 season – probably due to his injury. 

This report on Andrew Lambo does not seem great. It looks as though the Oakland Athletics have claimed an injury-prone player who is lacking offensively. However, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group made an interesting connection this offseason between former Athletic Brandon Moss and Lambo, which could lift fans’ spirits.

In his article, Hickey points out many similarities between these two players including the fact that both had pretty horrible seasons before coming to Oakland, both are left handed hitters who field in the corner outfield positions, and both had consistent power in the minor leagues. Even though these similarities do not mean that Lambo is going to perform as well as Moss did in Oakland, it does give everyone a little more hope that this 27-year-old outfielder could have more talent than meets the eye.

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Additionally, Lambo has never really had much of a chance to prove himself. He has only played a total of 59 games in the majors over three seasons. Because of the minor success he found in 2013 and 2014, Lambo could be a pretty consistent force at the plate if he is fully healthy and plays on a regular basis.

When it comes to fielding, Lambo is reliable in both left and right field as well as first base. Even though he usually plays in the outfield, Lambo was placed at first base for much of 2015 because the Pirates had a surplus of outfielders on their roster. Unfortunately, Lambo could run into the same problem while with Oakland.

If Lambo wants consistent playing time in 2016, he will need to earn a consistent spot in the lineup. With left field being the only outfield position currently up for grabs, he will have to compete against Sam Fuld, Jake Smolinski, and Mark Canha in order to earn regular playing time. However, if he can prove to the A’s coaching staff that he is a valuable player, he will be rewarded by being placed in the lineup more often than others.

Bold Prediction for 2016: If Andrew Lambo stays healthy, he will prove that he is a valuable and reliable asset to have in the lineup on a regular basis and will likely become part of a power platoon in left field with Mark Canha.

Next: Which A's Trade Needs a Do-Over?

How do you think Andrew Lambo with perform in 2016? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

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