Jason Giambi was nearly the Rockies manager and turned down a chance to be their hitting coach. One of the reasons he’s not a coach right now? Dude still wants to play:
Giambi hit .225/.372/.303 with one homer in 113 plate appearances in 2012. The mojo for Giambi lasted longer than a lot of folks probably thought it would — not many former superstars continue on as role players after their elite skills have faded into average ones — but it seems like it’s over. I could see him getting some spring training at bats anywhere, but he had the last job one can have on a major league team — pinch hitter — and there’s really nowhere else to go from there, is there?
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.