The standard question when I go on a radio show is “What has surprised you about the Yankees this season?”
Here it is: Jason Giambi has played 474.1 innings at first base.
His recent history in terms of playing in the field:
2007: 121 innings
2006: 480 innings
2005: 560 innings
2004: 375 innings
2003: 742.2 innings
2002: 781.7 innings
2001: 1176.3 innings (with Oakland)
At 37, The Big G has managed to turn back the clock. He is on a pace to play his most innings in the field since he joined the Yankees. Two things:
1. Being in a contract year is the greatest motivational tool ever.
2. This is not exactly a ringing endorsement for Balco. Presumably he is doing this the old-fashioned way.
Giambi isn’t exactly Don Mattingly around the bag. But he catches most everything that is thrown to him and he doesn’t get in Robbie Cano’s way when he goes to his right. That’s about all you can ask.
Plus don’t forget he’s at .268/.403/.562. You’d like to see the RISP numbers go up (14 of 71, .174) but that should happen. All in all, it’s quite remarkable.