Lambo getting a look at first base

All teams are looking for left-handed power hitters who can play first base, so it should be no surprise the Pirates plan to try out Andrew Lambo some at first with the Curve.

The oddity is that soon the Curve will have three first base prospects, with Lambo to get some time along with Matt Curry and Alex Dickerson.

Lambo, a corner outfielder most of his career, worked out some at first base during spring training, and Monday he did pregame work there for the first time this season.

“At some point he’s probably going to see some action at first base,” manager Carlos Garcia said.

How soon?

“Probably sooner than what you would expect,” Garcia noted.

Lambo is 24 and in his fifth Double-A season, plus he’s one of the Curve’s top hitters. He hit for the cycle last week at Akron and is batting .325 so far.

“I got drafted as a first baseman,” Lambo said. “The Dodgers felt that they saw something, and I played both – played first and outfield.”

He appeared in 14 games at first base in rookie ball in 2007 and in eight games between Single-A and Double-A in 2008. He’s been an outfielder exclusively since then.

“Whatever the Pirates want me to do,” Lambo said. “They know that I’m a pretty good athlete, so they know I can be a little bit versatile. I let them know last season that I can play first base, and anything that can help value to get up there and contribute.”

Lambo’s value definitely would increase if he were to prove he could be a 20-25 home run guy at first base as a left-handed hitter. The Pirates lack big power threats from the left side in the minors.

Once he gets more comfortable with his fielding at first base, Lambo could start to see time there in games. How much time – compared to Curry and Dickerson – remains to be seen.

“You obviously have to get adjusted to game speed,” Lambo said. “It’s one thing practicing, taking little groundballs, but it’s a whole different story when you get in a game.”