PITTSBURGH -- As previously noted, it took Andrew Lambo seven years to reach the Major Leagues. Once he got the call, however, his actual big league career went to hyper speed.
When Jose Tabata gave in to flu-like symptoms on the Pirates' first night in St. Louis and had to be scratched from the lineup, Lambo quickly went from wide-eyed spectator to starting right fielder.
So much for the natural get-acclimated period Pirates manager Clint Hurdle prefers to give to Major League neophytes before sending them on stage.
"Usually you wait until the adrenaline and the excitement get to where they need to be, and you reach that comfort level," said Hurdle.
Without that luxury, Lambo may not have been himself in his first seven hitless at-bats against the Cardinals. That might also explain why Hurdle declined to share his first impressions of Lambo when first asked prior to the Thursday afternoon finale at Busch Stadium.
Lambo unloaded on a Lance Lynn fastball in that game for a double that drove in the Bucs' first run. So Hurdle opened up about the guy who arrived as co-leader in all of the Minor Leagues with 31 homers.
"There's an aggressive swing there. A lot of power," Hurdle said. "And a pretty good eye at the plate -- although we've encouraged him to stay aggressive in the strike zone. We'll continue to look for opportunities to maximize that here."
On his first day in the home whites, Lambo got that adrenaline-tone-down break. He began the game against Arizona watching Tabata in right from the Pirates' dugout.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.