Chris Lambert (baseball)
March 8, 1983 |
|August 26, 2008, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 2009, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Earned run average||7.36|
Christopher Raymond Lambert (born March 8, 1983) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles organization. Lambert was claimed off waivers after the Detroit Tigers designated him for assignment.
High school and college
Although born in California, Lambert moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, where he attended Manchester Memorial High School. Lambert initially planned to attend Holderness School, but while playing American Legion baseball the summer out of high school his 90–95 mph fastball attracted attention from college recruiters. With offers from Florida State University, Clemson, LSU and Boston College, Lambert opted for Boston College, praising its "great academic reputation", "very good baseball program" and its closeness to Manchester. Lambert started at BC in early 2002, and immediately made a strong impression, going 9–3 with a 2.76 ERA. The Big East conference named him "Rookie of the Year" and "Pitcher of the Year", while Baseball America granted him "Freshman All-America honors." In the summer of 2002, Lambert pitched for the Concord Quarry Dogs of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, going 3–2 with a 1.55 ERA in nine appearances. Lambert remained strong for the 2002-2003 academic year, posting an 8–2 record with a 2.71 ERA and continuing to receive accolades. Lambert returned to Boston College for a third year, going 6–4 with a 3.02 ERA. Impressed, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Lambert as their No. 1 draft pick, 19th pick overall.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals assigned Lambert to the Single-A Peoria Chiefs in the Midwest League and began playing immediately, posting a 1–1 record with an ERA of 2.38 in nine starts. Promoted to the Single-A Palm Beach Cardinals for the 2005 season he continued to dominate, going 7–1 with a 2.63 ERA in ten starts and earning a quick promotion to the Double-A Springfield Cardinals in the Texas League. The transition to Double-A baseball proved difficult; Lambert went 3–8 with a 6.35 ERA. In an interview, Lambert admitted that he "hadn't pitched that well, yet." A bright spot came at the end of the year when he was named to the United States national baseball team.
Lambert returned to Double-A for the 2006 season and showed improvement, posting a winning record (10–9) and a lowered ERA of 5.30. Lambert made a single appearance at the end of the season with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, but was tagged for a loss, giving up three runs in four innings. After stints in spring training and minor league camp to open the 2007 season, Lambert was back in Springfield again. After a strong start, however, the Cardinals promoted him to Memphis, this time for good. However, for the first time, Lambert would be working out of the bullpen: after years in the minors, he was no longer the power pitcher he had been in college. Lambert was philosophical about the change: "I guess that's just the way they thought I'd get to the big leagues. I've had my good innings and bad innings." Lambert would not, however, reach the majors with the Cardinals; on August 30, 2007, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers as the player to be named later to complete the deal which sent pitcher Mike Maroth to the Cardinals. The Tigers assigned Lambert to the Toledo Mud Hens, their Triple-A club.
Lambert's time as a relief pitcher for Memphis had not been a success: in 28 appearances he was 1–4 with an ERA of 7.49. The Tigers, accordingly, returned Lambert to a starting role. He made one start at the tail end of the 2007 season; a six-inning performance in which he allowed just one hit while striking out ten. The Tigers invited Lambert to 2008 spring training, but he did not make the major league cut and returned to Toledo, where in his first 12 starts he is 5–3 with an ERA of 3.37. On August 23, the Tigers announced their intention to recall Lambert to start on the 26th in place of the struggling Nate Robertson. Lambert made his first major league debut for the Tigers on August 26, against the Cleveland Indians. He struck out the first batter he faced, Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore.
Lambert was designated for assignment August 18, 2009.
Lambert was claimed off waivers by Baltimore August 20, 2009. He would appear in four major-league games with Baltimore at the end of that season, pitching a total of 5 2/3 innings, all in relief. His contract was not renewed for the following season, and he did not return to the minor leagues, so that his professional baseball career ended after 2009.
- Smith, Patrick (April 11, 2002). "Lambert's using his arm to soar at Boston College". The Union Leader.
- "Lambert Captures Second Freshman All-America Honor: Pitcher is recognized by Baseball America". Boston College. June 18, 2002. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
- 2002 Concord Quarry Dogs Statistics at necbl.com, URL accessed January 3, 2010. Archived 1/3/10
- "Chris Lambert Captures All-America Third Team Honors: Sophomore hurler recognized by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association". Boston College. June 10, 2003. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
- "Delaney, Lambert Gain All-Northeast Baseball Honors: Delaney named to first team; Lambert takes second-team accolades". Boston College. June 17, 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
- Fennell, Jim (June 19, 2005). "Lambert struggles in Double-A". The Union Leader. p. C3.
- Fennell, Jim (November 4, 2005). "Lambert selected to U.S. baseball team". The Union Leader. p. D5.
- Goold, Derrick (May 11, 2007). "Mather is a late bloomer Cardinals prospect is tearing things up at Class AA Springfield after a long stay in Class A, leading the Texas League in homers and RBIs.". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. D2.
- Gray, Kevin (June 10, 2007). "Lambert making transition to a reliever". The Union Leader. p. C7.
- "Tigers acquire pitchers to complete Maroth, Monroe deals". Associated Press. August 30, 2007.
- Morosi, Jon Paul (March 19, 2008). "Tigers send nine to the minors; Leyland impressed by Bondo, not pleased by Byrdak". Detroit Free Press.
- Kornacki, Steve (2008-08-23). "Chris Lambert to start Tuesday for Tigers". Mlive.com. Retrieved 2008-08-23.