Colorado has offered Jason Giambi its hitting coach job after passing on him as manager in favor of Walt Weiss, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Giambi is “mulling” the offer because he still wants to keep playing.
Giambi said previously that he’d be willing to retire as a player in order to become a manager, but it’s unclear if he feels the same way about becoming a hitting coach.
“I am going to take a few days then talk to the Rockies again because my sole focus was on managing,” Giambi told Renck. “I don’t know what I am going to do yet. I just need a couple of days to digest everything.”
Giambi has been a part-time player since joining the Rockies in mid-2009, totaling just 518 plate appearances in three-and-a-half seasons playing behind Todd Helton, but he remains a very effective bench bat thanks to his outstanding on-base skills and posted a .372 on-base percentage this year.
Colorado is apparently not interested in bringing him back as a player, but Giambi’s agent told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com that “several teams” have reached out about signing him.
All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.
The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.
It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.
It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.
Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉