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February 19, 2007

Looking Ahead to 2007: Jason Giambi
by SG

-Giambi is DONE. his swing has a gaping hole in it, he can't play defense, and his contract is unmovable. he is the number 1 reason they are stinking up the joint. you can't get zero offensive contribution from your DH. that's the definition of designated hitter.

-I don't think I can watch any more games that Giambi starts.

-Giambi must go. He's such a weasel for taking the money at this point anyway. Should be booed out of the joint every time he has the arrogance to show his face. He's a fraud.

-I don't see why Giambi is any better a choice than Sierra at the end of the game. I seem to remember another situation recently in the ninth inning with the bases loaded where Giambi got his chance and made a fool of himself. I'm sorry, but I'd rather see Sierra up there than the putrid Giambi.

-Dump Giambi. Swallow the bullet and dump him.

-Right now Sierra is a far more dangerous hitter than Giambi and that's the bottom line.

-Release Giambi - it's a big pill to swallow, but he needs a change of scenery. Bring up Andy Phillips, or heck, even Shelley Duncan.

-giambi - sucks and has the worst contract in MLB

-giambi will not hit 20 hrs this year. Will be lucky to get 12.

-SG, thanks for keeping this site going but give it up on Giambi. He's done. Get over it. I just wish the Yanks could find a way to get over it.

-Your eyes should tell you all you need know about Giambi. A lousy 1st baseman, and with his walks he clogs the basepaths real nice. What a waste.

-Giambi's body is literally wasting away in front of us. Pointing out that Sierra has been even worse doesn't help Giambi in any way, although I might agree in the short term to pinch hit Giambi instead of Sierra. Point is, both are taking up roster slots that could go to a player that actually PRODUCES RUNS.

-Giambi looks done. This isn't based on just the first two and a half months of this season, but all the way back to the latter half of 2003. In fact, if you look at his numbers last year, when he had some health problems as a seemingly credible excuse, they are almost identical to his performance this year. And that's just his hitting.

-This is the new Jason Giambi. At 34, he seems more likely to continue at his current level of play than return to the level he was at in his late twenties and early thirties.

-I just hope no one thinks that this is a turnaround for Giambi.

-As concerning Giambi. . .you are crazy. I'm glad he helped to win the game last night, but he will never hit close to 30 homers in a season again.

-I like how coming into the season alot of baseball people said Giambi would be proof of how Steroids didn't help players that much because he would rebound to hit .270+ with 30+ homers and 100+ RBI's (Steve Philips on ESPN). Now that he has been exposed as a fraud nobody will admit that he made his career off of steroids.

-giambi is a roid using bastard. dump him.

Various Posters to this site, April, May, and June 2005

Some of you may recognize your words up there.

There was plenty of reason to be concerned about Jason Giambi through the point that most of those posts were made, as you can see in the splits below:

It certainly appeared that Giambi's power had vanished until his resurgence in July of 2005. Last year Giambi followed up with another solid season, although he suffered through some nagging injuries and was very streaky. The nagging injuries shouldn't have been a surprise, not when you consider that he was 35 last season. The streakiness is likely just a manifestation of the injuries as well as the randomness of a player's stat line over small samples.

Last season and 2005 have helped push Giambi's projections for 2007 back to respectability, even accounting for age, as 2004 will have less weight when predicting him going forward.

I can't see any way Giambi doesn't slug .500 next season if he's healthy enough to play. CHONE and PECOTA see him slugging in the .515-.520 area, which is probably more realistic. While I'd love to see him hit even the .272 he hit in 2005, the shift seems to make that hard for him.

Although it appears that Giambi will not need his first baseman's glove very often this year, I'll still post his defensive numbers and projections below.

No wonder they want to make him a full-time DH.

A large part of the desire to DH Giambi is to keep him healthier, but the issue with making Giambi a full-time DH is the persistent split he's exhibited when playing first base vs. playing DH. A large part of that is probably influenced by the fact that he's more likely to have DH'ed when he was hurting, so the numbers are at least partly explained by that. Here are those splits as a Yankee.

That is a real and persistent split, and there is enough of a sample size that it should be a reason for concern. Couple that with research that shows that players tend to have worse numbers when DHing, and it's going to be at least a slight issue. However, when trying to determine a player's talent, you can't just ignore half of their numbers. It's the reason that using just home/road stats or just platoon stats will give you an incomplete picture of a player's talent. So I wouldn't expect Giambi to hit .231/.384/.460 next year, solely because he's DHing.

I'm trying to use play by play data in at least some of these previews to get a look at some numbers that aren't typically analyzed, which can hopefully be pie-charted. In Giambi's case, one of the most fascinating aspects of his game is his batting eye.

I broke down the pitch by pitch results for all of baseball in 2006, and here they are.

What this chart says is that 37.2% of pitches were taken for a ball in 2006. 17.2% were taken for a called strike, 16.9% were hit foul, 8.3% were swung on and missed, .6% were foul tipped, and 19.9% were hit into play.

Let's look at the same numbers for Giambi.

Giambi takes non-strikes at a rate 20% higher than the MLB average. What I found more interesting in this data was that he actually swung and missed less frequently than the MLB average.

Here's are the two sets of data compared graphically.

There are two guaranteed years left on Giambi's deal. What was a tremendously risky contract at the time may end up giving the Yankees a decent return on their investment. How Giambi does this season will probably be the determining factor in how much value they end up receiving over the life of the deal.

I'm happy to see Giambi recover from 2004, and from his ill-advised use of steroids. He seems to be genuinely well-liked around the game, and if he is in fact clean now, it's evidence that you don't necessarily need steroids to produce at a high level if you have the natural ability. He did cheat, and he'll always be labelled a cheater, and that's fair, he's got no one to blame but himself for that. That doesn't make him an evil or bad person in my book. It makes him a guy who tried to take unfair advantage of the system in place, got busted for it, and who appears to have worked his way back from it.