Washington Post/D.C. Sports Bog reporter Dan Steinberg wrote about the hard work Steve Lombardozzi was doing with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs last week.
He wrote about how Lombardozzi, a former major leaguer with the Nationals, decided that playing for an independent team with no major league affiliation was the best choice for him after a few seasons of bouncing around with a few MLB organizations.
Lombardozzi, 27, and an '08 19th Round pick by the Nationals, debuted in 2011 and put up a .273/.317/.354 line in 126 games and 416 plate appearances for the division winning 2012 Nats, but after playing in 118 games and putting up a .259/.278/.338 line in 307 PAs in 2013, the infielder was dealt to the Detroit Tigers in the Doug Fister trade that December.
Since then, he's been up and down between the majors and minor leagues, getting traded to Baltimore, purchased by Pittsburgh and signed by the Chicago White Sox, who released him last March.
Early this season, the infielder led the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball with a .367 AVG and 61 hits, and was in the Top 5 in the league in runs scored and the Top 10 in stole bases.
In the Washington Post article on Lombardozzi's journey, his manager with the Blue Crabs, Jeremy Owens, anticipated that someone would come calling soon:
"I had phone calls before the season started, and then he hit .400 for over three weeks and I was like, ‘Well, it’s just a matter of time,’" Owens said. "I can’t wait for him to get picked up, because he doesn’t belong in this league. At all."
Apparently, it's the team that originally drafted and developed him that is giving Lombardozzi another chance.
The Blue Crabs announced this afternoon that he signed with the Nationals, who will send him to Triple-A Syracuse:
"Steve has been a solid hitter and an exceptional leader in the clubhouse," Owens says in a press release accompanying the announcement. "We'll miss him, but we are excited he is one step closer to the show."