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(Too Early to Be) Thinking About Jason Giambi

#25 seems like the hot topic of the off-day, and I feel somewhat compelled to weigh in.

SG over at Replacement Level puts out a strong case for why Giambi isn't finished based on his BABIP and K:BB ratio (short version, Giambi hasn't been as overmatched as his bad luck on balls in play makes him look).

The always bright and positive Steve Lombardi of WasWatching voices his displeasure with Giambi, um, diplomatically (the title of his article is "Giambi's Batting Skills Are Worthless And The Yankees Should Cut Him"). Steve builds his case by looking at Giambi's batting line broken up according to the type of pitcher he faced (power, finesse, or average). Steve points to Giambi's "overmatched" numbers against power pitchers, but neglects to provide a context for those numbers.

For example, Giambi's 2007 against power pitchers saw him post a .539 OPS, compared to a aggregate .790.
Big drop off, right?
Yes, but not so huge when compared to the drop offs for Arod (1.067 vs 966), Melky (.718 vs .573), Abreu (.814 vs 649) or Cano (.841 vs .673). Other guys (like Jeter and Damon) hit the power pitchers better than finesse guys; it's just a matter of preference and pitch selection. But I understand how lesser performance against "big game pitchers" like Beckett or Halladay could linger in a fan's memory as poor performance in the big spot.

My own argument against overreacting to the Giambi 'situation' is a simple one: in 227 plate appearances last season, Bobby Abreu was hitting .230/.310/.290. Jason Giambi in 2008 has 59 plate appearances- barely a quarter of Abreu's tepid start. Abreu finished the year .283/.369/.445.

It's a long season, and it's far too early to cut someone off for dead.