Chris Lambert will get the call to start in Nate Robertson’s place, and in the process make his big league debut. The Tigers acquired Lambert in exchange for Mike Maroth last season. At the time, Lambert was spelling his last name a little differently, PTBNL.
Lambert was the Cardinals first round pick in the 2004 draft. He opened the 2005 season in high A ball and made 10 pretty successful starts before being bumped to AA. That’s where he languished. He walked 5 batters per 9 for 18 starts, and not surprisingly repeated the level in 2006. But the results were about the same. He started 2007 there as well, before being bumped to AAA. With the promotion came a move the bullpen where he gave up a lot of homers (10 in 57.2 innings).
He made one start for Toledo at the end of the 2007 season, and has made 26 starts this year. He’s posted a solid 7.5 K/9 while shaving a walk per nine off his career numbers to bring it to 2.9 for the season.
Another improvement leading to his 3.50 ERA is the drop in home runs allowed, with only 7 in 149.1 innings. Interestingly, or maybe troublesome-ly, is that all 7 homers have come on the road. Still, even looking at road only numbers means he’s allowing less than 1 per 9 innings pitched.
Lambert will be added to the 40 man roster, but he likely would have earned that distinction in the offseason to protect him from the rule 5 draft. Somebody will need to be sent down from the 25 man roster. Presumably this will be Aquilino Lopez who can be optioned out, and then recalled when the rosters expand.