Lambert Joins Hanson on Team USA

Former first-rounder, Springfield right-hander Chris Lambert named to Olympic qualifying squad.

St. Louis Cardinals minor league starting pitcher Chris Lambert will be a member of the team representing the USA in the Olympic qualifying tournament scheduled November 15-19 in Arizona.

Lambert, 23, was the Cardinals' first round pick, 19th overall, in the June, 2004 draft. The right-hander has moved up the organization's ladder quickly. He posted a 2.58 ERA in 38-1/3 innings while striking out 46 at Peoria last year.

In 2005, Lambert started 7-1 with a 2.63 ERA for Palm Beach, but found the competition more challenging at the Double-A level as a member of the Springfield Cardinals. There, he went 3-8 with a 6.35 ERA. He also participated in the 2005 MLB Futures Game, held in Detroit in conjunction with the All-Star Game.

So far in the Arizona Fall League, Lambert has made five starts, going 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA. Prior to his last start, his ERA was 3.00. Lambert told me Thursday that he had to leave the team for four days to attend to family matters and as a result, did not get to do his customary throwing between starts. That contributed to his short outing last time out.

Lambert's final AFL start will be this coming Monday, November 7. Shortly thereafter, he'll join manager Davey Johnson, teammate and third baseman Travis Hanson and the rest of the USA squad as they take on teams from Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.

Needless to say, to have two players participating on the team is a positive indicator for the Cardinals minor league system.

More details on the Olympic qualifier and full rosters can be found here.

Subscribers can look forward to upcoming exclusive interviews with Lambert, Hanson, Cody Haerther, Gabe Johnson, manager Ron "Pop" Warner and more only at

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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