Sandy Koufax once said: “In the end it all comes down to talent. You can talk all you want about intangibles, I just don’t know what that means. Talent makes winners, not intangibles. Can nice guys win? Sure, nice guys can win – if they’re nice guys with a lot of talent. Nice guys with a little talent finish fourth and nice guys with no talent finish last.”
Tony Jackson writes this for Baseball America:
The Dodgers have decided to go full speed ahead in converting Josh Lindblom, their second-round selection in this year’s draft, from a reliever to a starter. The former star closer at Purdue is in the Arizona instructional league working on two pitches, a splitter and a straight changeup, in hopes of making one of them the third weapon in his repertoire.
Lindblom, who skipped Rookie-ball and went directly to low Class A when the Dodgers signed him, made eight starts in the Midwest League and posted a 1.86 ERA, although he was stretched out gradually and wound up pitching only 29 innings. He then skipped high Class A altogether and was promoted late in the season to Double-A Jacksonville, where he made a serviceable start on Aug. 28 at Montgomery. In that game, Lindblom worked five innings, yielding two earned runs on five hits, including a double and triple to 26-year-old Rashad Eldridge. He also struck out four and issued only one walk.
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 said. “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.”
Lindblom, 21, agreed to terms with the Dodgers on a $650,000 bonus shortly after the draft. Even before selecting him, assistant GM Logan White and scouting director Tim Hallgren projected Lindblom as a starter.
“He has been receptive (to the switch),” 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.”
Lindbloom will likely start at AA, but he could see LA by mid-season – he’s that good!
RANTS & RAVES:
- D-Lowe allegedly told FoxSports that he wanted to return East after teammates said he would like to stay on the West Coast. I can’t see him coming back. Boston, Detroit or New York, maybe Philly!
- Andrew Lambo is hiting .368 in the AFL
- Manny? Schammy!
- Penny is allegedly going to “do lunch” with Joe Torre. My question is why? Do we really want him back? Maybe as a closer…
- Saito? Gone!
- Sweeney? He was gone in April.
- Greg Miller? How can you justify a roster spot for him? Would any club actually keep him on their Major League Roster? I’m not saying we should cut him, but no one is going to take him in Rule 5.
- Nomar? Retired. Kent? He should be…
- Does anyone really believe Furcal can hold up for an entire season?
- Will the Glendale Stadium be ready for Spring Training?
Billy Russell asked for my e-mail address. Just in case anyone needs to send something, here it is: