Due to the considerable amount of new faces on the Milwaukee Brewers active roster, fans might find themselves wondering, “Who is that again?” For this reason, I will be continuing my spotlight series, in which I’ll highlight one new Milwaukee Brewers acquisition in each article. In this second installment, starting pitcher Josh Lindblom is the center of attention.
Josh Lindblom, a 32 year old Lafayette, Indiana native, is a father and Christian before he’s a baseball player. This is evidenced in his social media accounts (@jlbomer25 on Instagram and @JoshLindblom52 on Twitter). He and his wife have three children, Presley, Palmer, and Monroe. His family has been passionate about donating time and money to charitable causes, including the Dream Center in Los Angeles.
Lindblom has had a long and unconventional baseball career, as he’s bounced around from team to team, and even from continent to continent. The 6’4″ 240 pound righty was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 after spending two years playing college baseball with the Tennessee Volunteers and the Purdue Boilermakers. Since being drafted twelve years ago, Lindblom has gone through many ups and downs on his path to the Brewers.
Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-2012)
Throughout the first three years of his professional career, Josh Lindbloom moved up and down in the Dodgers minor league system. On June 1, 2011, he made his MLB debut against the Colorado Rockies. In total, Lindblom spent about one full season with the Dodgers, with a 2.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. At the trade deadline in 2012, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Philadelphia Phillies (2012)
Lindblom only spent the second half of 2012 pitching for the Phillies. During that span, he made 26 appearances, with a 4.63 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. It was at this point in his career that Lindblom started to face more adversity pitching in the MLB.
Texas Rangers (2013)
After struggling in Philadelphia, Lindblom could not bounce back in 2013 after he was traded to Texas. He spent most of the season on the AAA Affiliate, the Round Rock Express. In his 31.1 innings pitched for the Rangers though, he had a 5.46 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. It is worth noting that it was in Texas where Josh Lindblom started his first MLB game.
Oakland Athletics (2014)
Following his time with Texas, Josh Lindblom was again traded, this time to the Oakland Athletics. Despite experiencing some success in AAA, he only made one appearance with the A’s, starting a game and going for 4.2 innings with 2 ER.
Lotte Giants (KBO) (2015-2016)
Instead of pursuing another MLB team, Lindblom decided to take a different route for his career, one that is becoming more popular: spend time overseas in Korea. Brewers fans probably remember another fan-favorite who spent time in Korea: Eric Thames. Similarly, Lindblom was able to improve his arsenal at a high level without the pressures of the MLB. During his time with the Lotte Giants, Lindblom had a 4.34 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.
Pittsburgh Pirates (2017)
In his first attempt at an MLB comeback, Josh Lindblom signed a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He did end up pitching for the Pirates, but again faced limited success through only 10.1 innings. He spent time with the AAA team, but was released by the Pirates on July 12. Lindblom spent the remainder of the 2017 season back with the Lotte Giants of the KBO.
Doosan Bears (KBO) (2018-2019)
After years of hard work, Lindblom finally found sustained success during his tenure with the Doosan Bears of the KBO. It was with Doosan that he added a splitter and cutter to his diverse pitching arsenal (he throws just about everything). In his MVP season in 2019, Lindblom had a 2.50 ERA over 30 starts, alongside a 0.997 WHIP. The biggest question surrounding Lindblom after 2019: Could this level of success be maintained in the MLB?
Milwaukee Brewers (2020-2022) and Beyond
On December 16, 2019, the Brewers officially signed RHP Josh Lindblom to a three year, $9.13 million deal. An important aspect of this contract to consider is that it is three years, which goes against GM David Stearns’s usual strategy in acquiring offseason pieces. Almost every other player has been signed on a one or two year deal. Therefore, for Lindblom to have earned a three year contract, hopes must be high on him throughout the organization. The overarching belief is that Lindblom can keep his numbers from his MVP season, and he will be out to prove himself in 2020 and beyond.
Any player making the transition from Korea to MLB faces a different set of obstacles while trying to achieve the status he had overseas. Although Josh Lindblom has prior major league experience, it will be interesting to see how he performs with a three year contract under his belt with the Brewers. Rotochamp.com predicts that Lindblom will finish 10-10 with a 4.39 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 151 Ks. Additionally, Fangraphs.com predicts a 2.0 WAR for Lindblom in 2020.
What are your expectations for Josh Lindblom going into 2020? Let me know in the comments down below!
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