Yanks first baseman in miserable slump

Jason Giambi is struggling through one of the worst periods a player of his caliber has ever endured.

Updated: September 9, 2003, 11:07 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Skeeter Shelton. Now there's a name you don't hear much. In fact, you've probably never heard it before. Shelton was brought to the Yankees in August of 1915 and given ten starting assignments in the outfield. He came to the plate 43 times, sacrificing once, walking twice and depositing one single into an unguarded portion of the field. Aside from that, it was nothing but futility as he struck out ten times and made 29 other outs of assorted types to post what I am pretty sure is the lowest batting average ever for someone who actually has a batting average: .025.

Why conjure up the name of Shelton? Because, prior to yesterday's two-hit, two-walk performance against Toronto, star slugger Jason Giambi had managed to replicate Shelton's 1-for-40 trick. There were differences, to be sure. For one thing, the hit was his 36th home run, not his one and only major league single. The other is he walked nine times during that duration. Prior to this downturn, Giambi was posting an MVP caliber season so we must wonder if what we are seeing is some sort of catastrophe or merely one of the worst periods a player of his caliber has ever endured.

What is wrong with him? Injuries? Jon Heyman of Newsday put that question to a team official and was told that there's nothing wrong with Giambi. "Trust me, he's not hurt," the source said.
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at