Here we go again.
Just as the roster battle in the Dodgers infield came to a conclusion with Luis Cruz and Josh Fields heading to the ‘Topes, another competition heats up out of the bullpen.
Starting pitcher Ted Lilly, who has been on the Disabled List since the beginning of the season with neck stiffness, is set to start against the Padres on Saturday night. This means the crowded bullpen in Los Angeles will be forced to make a decision between relievers Jamey Wright and Josh Lindblom, and factoring in a number of variables, may send one down to Albuquerque.
Trust me, we welcome the extra pitching.
As far as stats go, Lindblom holds a quiet advantage over Wright after pitching four scoreless innings without allowing a single hit. The hurler also picked up his first Major League win on Opening Day for the Dodgers, and hasn’t slowed down since.
“It’s been an awesome 48 hours,” Lindblom told the LA Times after making the LAD roster and earning his first win. “I couldn’t even imagine making my first opening-day roster. And now having that win on opening day and being able to pitch and a part of all of this. It’s a special, special experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
As for Jamey Wright, the advantage may lie in the fact that his counterpart, Lindblom, still has two years of minor-league options. Otherwise, on paper the two pitchers are nearly indiscernible, posting almost identical stats through all of Spring Training and six regular-season contests.
Same position. Same stats. Same first letter of their first name. It’s made for a daunting task for Dodgers skipper, Don Mattingly.
When was asked about keeping one pitcher over the other, Mattingly responded, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
More like, thanks, but no thanks.
If Josh Wright, excuse me, Jamey Lindblom, (I did it again)… Josh Lindblom is sent to Albuquerque, the ‘Topes will fortify their shaky pitching rotation with a consistent right-hander out of the pen. Lindblom has appeared in 134 innings with Albuquerque since the 2009 season, collecting a 5.37 ERA in the pitching obstacle of Isotopes Park.
Not necessarily a dream job for the 24 year-old on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.
Still, knowing he’s on a day-to-day basis in the Dodgers rotation, Lindblom has taken the meaning of “team player” to a whole new level.
“Whatever role I have to fill on this team – whether it’s long, short, one batter, whatever it is – I’m just going to come out and compete,” Lindblom said. “I want to give the team a chance to win.”
That’s the Wright mentality.