Phillies Player Review: Josh Lindblom

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, October 30, 2012 02:07 PM | Comments: 18
2012 Player Reviews

Josh Lindblom has limited righties to a .191 batting average in two seasons.

The Phillies’ bullpen was a disaster in 2012, placing 21st in ERA (3.94) and 29th in eighth-inning ERA (4.89). The ‘pen blew 19 saves — 11 more than their 2011 total. And it lost 27 games after losing just 18 in 2011.

So it made sense that when the Phillies were set to unload Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence at the trade deadline, they would look for at least one young reliever who could come in to help a beleaguered unit. Victorino was dealt to the Dodgers for 25-year-old right-hander Josh Lindblom and 23-year-old starting pitching prospect Ethan Martin.

While Martin flourished at Reading, going 5-0 with a 3.18 ERA in seven starts, Lindblom didn’t have much success in a Phillies uniform. He had a 4.63 ERA for the Phillies, and while he struck out 27 batters in 23.1 innings, he also walked 17.

Lindblom has heat — his fastball ranges from 92-96 mph, but he has trouble keeping the ball in the park. He allowed 13 home runs in 71 innings this season, nine of which came on the first or second pitch of an at-bat. It’s a trend that makes you nervous going forward at Citizens Bank Park.

The 6-foot-4 Lindblom does have potential, though, and he’ll be cheap for a few more years since he has less than two years of major-league service time.

The Phils should use him as a righty specialist in 2013. Right-handed hitters are batting .191 with a .576 OPS off Lindblom in a career sample of 248 plate appearances. Lefties, though, are hitting .282/.396/.500.

Lindblom can still be a quality bullpen piece for the next two or three years if the home run trend changes, but he should not be the eighth-inning answer in 2013, whether it’s just him or a combination of he, Antonio Bastardo and possibly Phillippe Aumont. Lindblom’s propensity to hit the sweet spot of the bat and the control problems of Bastardo and Aumont would set the Phils up for another season of late meltdowns.

If the Phillies sign a veteran reliever with a track record of setup success — a Mike Adams, Ryan Madson or Brandon League — Lindblom can move into the complementary role he is better suited for at this point.

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Lindblom should be trade bait. He’s a flyball pitcher, and I don’t think that bodes well in CBP.

    I notice he didn’t get an actual grade. I’m sure a few people will volunteer one or two, though.

  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    agreed george! tradebait! ok how’s this for a volunteer grade S as in suck. lol

  • Posts: 120 Dave P

    Avatar of Dave P

    Lindbloom…had high hopes for him but he was not great with the phillies. C- at best imo.

  • Posts: 0 brooks

    My friends & I have nicknames for most players – Linda-bomb or Linda-bum – regardless, if anything can be obtained off the trading table for this guy, jump at it please.

  • Posts: 0 DCmikey

    @Brooks, he’s a Philly, lets show a tiny bit (sarcasm) of respect for him here. He’s young and trying his best.

    Don’t blame him, blame management for keeping him perhaps?? Same w Michael Martinez. I have called him Mary Mart before- but I know it’s management keeping him on the roster and its not like he is not trying.

    • Posts: 5229 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      He showed him as little respect as possible. (-:

  • Posts: 0 George

    I’d never say that Lindblom is a terrible pitcher. He hasn’t had much of a chance to prove anything.

    My thoughts are that his pitching style doesn’t fit well at CBP. He might be very good in a bigger park.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I’m not sure that fly ball pitchers have a real issue at CBP. For example, if you look at HR/FB% (i.e. the % of fly balls allowed that wind up in the seats):

      2012 -
      Phillies pitchers at CBP: 12.7% HR/FB%, 4th in the NL
      Phillies pitchers on road: 11.5% HR/FB%, 7th in the NL

      Last 5 years –
      Phillies pitchers at CBP: 10.7% HR/FB%, 6th in the NL
      Phillies pitchers on road: 10.5% HR/FB%, 6th in the NL

  • Posts: 0 George

    This should be broken down more. A flyball pitcher may not have a high percentage go out, but he will almost definitely have more go out in the same number of innings than a groundball pitcher will. It’s pretty hard to get a home run on a grounder. In a tight game, a flyball reliever would be a bigger risk than that groundball specialist.

    I don’t mind flyballs per se. But they are definitely dangerous in a late inning situation with the game on the line. And even if the flyball is caught, you have little chance of an inning ending double play. If a runner is at third with less than two outs, a flyball will probably score him (of course, a grounder might, too-do you have stats on runs scored on grounders vs runs scored on sac flies?). Perhaps I should have said Lindblom would not be my choice as a late inning reliever. If he learns better location, and becomes a strikeout guy, I’ll change that “trade bait” remark. They can be even better relievers than groundball pitchers.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      George, your first paragraph is true. But it’s true, and a groundball pitcher is preferable to a fly ball pitcher, whether the pitcher’s home park is CBP, or Dodger stadium, or Petco. The point is just that, based on the data, CBP doesn’t hurt fly ball pitchers any more than the average park does.

      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        I overstated that. You’re right that a flyball pitcher would fare better in a park where it’s tougher to hit home runs. CBP isn’t particularly homerun-friendly, but going a level deeper it is easier for left-handed batters, and tougher for RHBs. And if lefty hitters are going to hit Lindblom well, as they’ve shown so far, then some of those well-hit balls may very well be more likely to leave CBP than other parks.

      • Posts: 5229 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        I think the true answer is stats for all pitchers in CBP vs other parks, not just Phillies pitchers. No?

        BTW I’m reading a thread on another site, it’s a trivia question, and I think you might know the answer.
        It reads
        “Chase Utley is the all-time leader in MLB history in one category. What category is he #1?”
        I’m thinking SB/Caught %

        A little help?

      • Posts: 5229 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        He leads a lot of active stats, but I can’t seem to find the all time one.

      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        You got it, Lefty. Among all players since 1951 (when CS stats were first kept), with 100+ attempts, Utley has the highest SB%.

      • Posts: 5229 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty


      • Posts: 0 George

        I’m with Lefty. I’d like to see other’s flyball rates at CBP rather than just the Phils’ pitchers’ rates. Knowing one’s own park can make a difference in how certain batters might be handled.

        I think it’s very creditable that you have taken the time to break down the issue to show that it may be easier to hit a home run to right than to left at the Phils’ home park.

        At any rate, so far Lindblom has not done particularly well in Philly. From what I’ve read, he had homerun tendencies while with the Dodgers, too. I’m not good at looking up the more advanced stats, but it would be interesting to know if Lindblom has a higher percentage of home runs per fly ball than average.

        I’ve probably overstated, miscalculated, or mistated my concerns about Lindblom and CBP. I really should have just said I don’t care for relievers who throw a lot of flyballs. Too many times they develop into a Chad Qualls.

      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        HR/FB% for Phillies hitters (I.e. Opposing pitchers):

        CBP: 11.9%
        Road: 10.5%

        All pitchers…

        CBP: 11.3%
        Road: 10.6%

        Not a lot of separation there.

      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        To your question about Lindblom in particular, here are his stats:

        2011 LA — 29.2 IP, 0 HR, 0.0% HR/FB

        2012 LA — 47.2 IP, 9 HR, 16.1% HR/FB
        2012 PHI — 23.1 IP, 4 HR, 14.8% HR/FB

        Totals — 100.2 IP, 13 HR, 10.7% HR/FB

        The NL average the last two years has been 10.3% HR/FB

        Lindblom at fangraphs: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=7882&position=P

        Also, as background, I found this article interesting on HR/FB rates and how much control a pitcher has over them: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/9/20/3359690/joe-sheehan-parallel-universes-and-hr-fb-ratio

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