Righthander Josh Lindblom got a call to the Dodgers' big league camp and is apparently making noise to win the No. 5 starter job. Is that a little overly ambitious considering he was a closer in college and drafted in the second round just last year? In any case, was it a good idea to convert him to starter? What kind of stuff does he have?
Though Lindblom had more success as a reliever in college, the Dodgers planned on making him a starter when they drafted him in the second round last June. He has enough pitches as well as the frame (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) to handle the increased workload. His best offering is a hard 89-94 mph sinker, and he also can get swings and misses with his slider and splitter, though he'll probably have to throw more changeups.
After getting the call from minor league camp, Lindblom has impressed manager Joe Torre and his staff. It's unlikely that he'll open the season in the big league rotation, however. The plan appears to be for Lindblom to follow the same path that Clayton Kershaw took last year, beginning the season in Double-A and keeping his innings down, then promoting him a couple of months later.
It's still possible that Lindblom could break into the majors into the majors as a reliever, too. The Dodgers could have a solid rotation with Chad Billingsley, Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda, Randy Wolf and James McDonald, and their bullpen looks far less solid.