While various parts of the Phillies team have had meltdowns this season, the bullpen has been consistently bad and is in definite need of an overhaul. That overhaul starts with 25-year old right-hander Josh Lindblom, who comes to the Phillies along with starter Ethan Martin in exchange for Shane Victorino.
Lindblom attended both Tennessee and Purdue and was initially a starter, but struggled in that role and was moved to the bullpen. Before long, he was working as a closer and excelled in that role in college. The Dodgers again tried to make him a starter, but again, he struggled and was moved back to the bullpen in the middle of last season. Just as he did in college, Lindblom regained confidence and has become a quality reliever with the potential to be a strong set-up man and some scouts believe that he could step into a closer's role eventually.
Even though he pitches in relief, Lindblom will still occasionally use his full repertoire of pitches that he had as a starter. His fastball can reach the mid-90s at times and has some cut to it to keep hitters a little off balance. He compliments the fastball with a nice, sharp slider that generally sits in the mid-80s and drops down causing a lot of groundballs and swings and misses. Lindblom will break off a mid-70s curveball and a changeup that both stay down in the zone and the change is very deceptive.
While Lindblom generally pitches down in the zone, he does make the mistakes that many young pitchers make and will get pitches up in the zone from time to time, which has resulted in nine home runs for opposing hitters this season, the most allowed by any reliever. He has also allowed 38% of his inherited runners to score, which puts him about 10% above the league average. Keep in mind though that Lindblom has inherited just 16 runners this season, allowing six to score; if he were to reduce that by just one run, he would be down at an acceptable 31%. In other words, keep things in context.
Besides his on-the-field numbers, Lindblom has attractive numbers on the business ledger, because he made slightly above major league minimum this season and isn't eligible for arbitration until at least 2015, putting him under team control through the 2018 season.
Josh Lindblom's career stats (MLB)
Josh Lindblom's career stats (Minors)
|2008||Great Lakes (A)||0||0||1.86||8||8||0||29.0||14||6||6||2||4||33|