Dodgers' Lindblom to Remain a Starter

Second round selection Josh Lindblom was sent to Great Lakes as a starter, skipping Rookie-ball. He made eight starts in the Midwest League and posted a 1.86 ERA, although he was stretched out carefully and wound up pitching only 29 innings.

  He then skipped Inland Empire and was promoted to Jacksonville, where he made a single start , working five innings, yielding two earned runs on five hits, struck out four and issued only one walk.

Logan White wanted to draft him out of high school but that didn't work out and then, when he had a second chance, selected him in the 2008 draft out of Purdue, where he was their closer. Lindblom, 21, agreed to terms with the Dodgers on a $650,000 bonus shortly after the draft.

White said he has a good delivery and a power arm. At 6-5 and 240, he could be either a starter or a reliever. The Dodgers chose to switch him into the starting role and have decided to keep him in that role, at least for the time being.

He is now working in the Arizona instructional league on a splitter and a straight changeup, in hopes of making one of them the third weapon in his repertoire to go with a plus fastball.

Lindblom has a strong chance of beginning next season at Chattanooga, the Dodgers' new Double-A affiliate, if he continues to progress as he has thus far.

"He is showing more poise and maturity," Dodgers assistant general manager De Jon Watson told the Los Angeles Daily News. "We moved him from the bullpen to the starting rotation, and the kid didn't back off at all. His velocity has been consistently 91-95 miles an hour, and he has touched 96. He commands his fastball to both sides of the plate and has a solid breaking ball."

"He was receptive to becoming a starter," Watson said. "A lot will depend on our needs as we go along. We could put him back in the pen. But right now, we just need him to work on these three pitches, because he is a starter. This kid can pitch."

White pointed out that Jonathan Broxton was a starter in the minor leagues before becoming a successful closer.

Other Fall League Action
The Arizona Fall League opened its 17th season on Oct. 7. The Fall League is comprised of six teams playing games every day of the week except Sunday in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Surprise and Peoria.

The teams are stocked with baseball's top prospects, mainly 22-25-year-olds who have caught their organizations' eye during their minor league season. Some players are rehabilitating from injury or transitioning to or from a starting pitcher.

The son of former Cubs shortstop Ivan De Jesus is playing well. The 21-year-old has a good glove, swings the bat well, and hustles on the field.

Jesus Castillo, who went 7-4, 3.24 in 23 starts for Jacksonville, replaced lefthander Scott Elbert in the Dodgers' Arizona Fall League contingent, at least for the start of the season. Elbert, who spent September in the majors, was sent to instructional league at the end of the regular season in case the big club needed him for the postseason.

Outfield prospect Alfredo Silverio, who hit .263 at Great Lakes this season, was batting .318 (7-for-22) through his first six games with Waikiki in Hawaii Winter Baseball.

International Signings --In 2007 the Dodgers' largest expenditure during the international signing period was the $100,000 they spent on Dominican righthander Beyker Fructuoso. The Dodgers put the 18-year-old in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where Fructuoso had a 2.37 ERA in 38 innings with 17 walks and 37 strikeouts.

The Dodgers neither exceeded nor matched the bonus they gave to Fructuoso, though they did sign 6-foot-2 righthander Robert Boothe out of Japan for the same bonus back in December. Boothe, 22, had a 6.89 ERA in 64 innings in the Rookie-level Pioneer League, though his walks were reasonable (24) and his 61 strikeouts were nearly a strikeout per inning.

Peavy Note --San Diego, intent on rebuilding, is interested in trading their ace Jake Peavy and the rumor is, they are looking for a couple of good minor league pitchers, or a pitcher and an infielder in exchange. The Dodgers are one of five teams Peavy said he would accept a trade to, although Atlanta is the front-runner in the process right now.

Manny Note --For third base coach Larry Bowa, the most important decision regarding the Dodges' young kids is the decision the club will make on the 36-year-old Ramirez. "Real crucial," Bowa told the Los Angeles Times when asked about re-signing the outfielder. "He's helped the maturation of these young kids. I'm not saying that if he doesn't come back they won't mature. But if he doesn't come, you better get somebody to help the maturation along. You saw what he did to help these kids in the last two months."

Ng Note --Dodger VP Kim Ng is in the final mix for the Seattle General Manager job, having been invited for a second interview. She was the first female to be interviewed for such a lofty position when the Dodgers granted her and interview and the club could have done much worse (some say they did) when the passed her over for the L.A. position. Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who also worked with Ng in New York, told Yahoo.com earlier this year that she's prepared to run an organization. "Dealing with her. I've been impressed with how ready she'd be for something like that," Torre said. "I hope to hell it happens. She'd be a ground breaker not only for baseball but for women."

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