Josh Lindblom out to reduce walks, homers

FORT WORTH – Josh Lindblom, the Texas Rangers’ newest reliever, is used to moving around these days.

He was sent across the country at the trade deadline six months ago, going from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Philadelphia Phillies as part of the deal that sent Shane Victorino to LA. Now, he’s in Texas as part of the Michael Young trade.

“It’s like the first day of school all over again,” Lindblom said. “But it’s easier the second time around.”

Lindblom was part of the Rangers’ contingent that visited a Fort Worth hospital to see some children Thursday. And he attended the club’s media holiday luncheon.

He admitted that he put too much pressure on himself after the deadline, knowing how important a player like Victorino was to Philadelphia. He hopes to learn from that.

"I can never be what Michael Young is to this city, to the community, to the team," Lindblom said. "But what I can do is bring the things that I've learned and just try to help the team. Michael Young is a great leader, a great person and a great ballplayer, but there is really no uneasiness getting traded for Michael. I'm just coming here to be myself."

The 25-year-old had a 4.63 ERA in 26 appearances for the Phillies after the trade. Prior to the deal, his ERA was barely over 3.00 with the Dodgers. He’s one of the bullpen options that the Rangers will bring to spring training as they sort out who can bridge the gap between the starters and closer Joe Nathan.

Lindblom, who is 6-foot-4, said he utilizes his slider and fastball (two-seamer and four-seamer), but also throws a curve and changeup every once in a while.

“I just come after guys,” Lindblom said. “Last year, I walked way too many guys. The long ball was a problem for me last year and part of that was a problem of pitching up the zone too much. I want to continue to get better and continue to get used to that role of throwing 70 to 75 games a year, hopefully.”

Lindblom walked 35 batters in 71 innings in 2012 and allowed 13 home runs. Lindblom allowed the third-most home runs among relievers in the majors last year.