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Mr. Chase Lambin

12230 Paddock Way
Houston, TX 77065


Home Phone: 281-890-0321
Work Phone: --
Fax: --
Email: cmlambin@yahoo.com

Baseball: Lambin a regular starter for Mets’ AAA

July 09, 2006 –
Dan McDonald

Chase Lambin’s nearing the halfway point of his second season in Class AAA baseball, waiting … watching … wondering what’s going to happen with the New York Mets.
One step away from the Major Leagues, and the only ex-University of Louisiana position player in AAA, he’s spent this year learning new positions and watching Jose Reyes and Chris Woodward, the shortstops on the Mets’ Major League roster.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Lambin said. “If I play well and they think I’m ready, I think I’m ready to make the leap. If not, I’m happy playing where I am.”

The former Ragin’ Cajun shortstop has been with the Norfolk Tides, the Mets’ AAA affiliate in the International League, since June 16 of last year when he was called up from the Class AA Binghamton club. He had posted pro career highs of 10 homers and 64 RBIs in 2004 with Binghamton.
This year, he’s been a fixture in Norfolk’s everyday lineup, starting 79 of the team’s 88 games, but he’s been at several different positions. He’s played second base, third base and shortstop at different times, and has started seeing action in left field.

In fact, he started in left in Norfolk’s most recent game, going 1-for-4 Friday in a 7-2 loss to the Ottawa Lynx when former Teurlings Catholic product Brooks Badeaux had a home run for the winners.

“I guess I’ve sort of learned to pick up different positions over the years,” Lambin said. “I played short and third in college, and I played second mostly in the pros. Now they’re playing me out in left field a little bit. I guess I’m athletic enough to move around and get the job done.

“I think it helps me do to all that, and I love the idea of being able to play all those positions.”

Lambin’s hope is to get his offensive numbers on the increase over the second half of the season. The 34th-round selection in the 2002 draft is hitting .220 through 79 games (57-for-259) with nine doubles, three triples and two homers along with 31 RBI.

Lambin had the Tides’ first RBI of the season with a run-scoring single in the 2006 opener, but good starts were nothing new. When he got called up last June, he had some torrid offensive numbers just prior to the AAA All-Star break, helping Norfolk take a 9 1/2-game lead in the International League’s South Division.

The Tides eventually won the division by 14 games over the Durham Bulls under manager Ken Oberkfell and hitting coach Howard Johnson. Johnson is back as hitting coach this season, but Norfolk has struggled and is currently 35-53 and 21 1/2 games behind Charlotte in the South division.

“I’ve had HoJo (Johnson) with me all the way,” said Lambin, who was on the Florida State League’s All-Star team as a utility infielder in his first pro season in 2003. “He’s been my coach at every level for three years. I think he’s seen every one of my at-bats in pro ball, and he probably knows me better than I know myself. Every coach in the system has been awesome with me. They’re all down to earth and every one of them will help me.”

Originally published July 9, 2006