Lindstrom looking to improve

In a couple of weeks, the New York Mets will be sending five of their top prospects to the prestigious Arizona Fall League. Among the talented chosen few selected are position players Mike Jacobs, Chase Lambin, Lastings Milledge, and pitchers Jeremy Hill and Matt Lindstrom.

After having split the 2004 season at low Class A Capital City and High Class-A St. Lucie, the 25-year-old spent 2005 at Double-A Binghamton.

In addition to the jump to Double-A, Lindstrom had another transition to cope with: a move from the rotation to the bullpen.

Lindstrom was selected in the 10th Round of the 2002 draft out of Ricks Junior College in Idaho. He had spent each of his three seasons in the minor leagues as a starter. He posted solid numbers during his career with a 3.59 earned run average, a 255-111 strikeout-walk ratio, and held batters to a .252 average in 306 innings of work.

This year at Double-A was the first time in his career he had pitched out of the bullpen. Despite his success thus far, Lindstrom had a tough time adjusting to the role of a relief pitcher. In 35 appearances, ten as a starter, he compiled a 5.40 earned run average, a 58-55 strikeout-walk ratio, and batters hit a cool .302 off him in only 73.1 innings of work.

"As a reliever, you don't really have to pace yourself as much where as when you're starting," Lindstrom said. "When you are relieving, you go in with your best stuff to try and get guys out and as a starter you have to mix it up a little bit to get guys out. That's probably the main difference that I have had to work with."

"I think the relieving role is more comfortable for me. Obviously I have had more success doing that, but being a starter my whole career has been an interesting thing. I have time to prepare for each start, where as a reliever you have to be ready to go every night. It has been a transition, but I think the reliever role is probably what I'm best at doing."

The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder's repertoire features a mid-90s fastball, sometimes touching 100 MPH, as well as an average slider, curveball, and changeup. The Fall League will be a great opportunity for him to work out any problems on the mound he is having. He looks to improve and has maintained a positive attitude.

"Number-wise, my season hasn't been very successful," Lindstrom said. "Out of the bullpen I have had some really good outings, but I think so far I have made some progress and I look forward to continuing to get better."

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