<
>

Buzz: Lindblom ready for starting debut

5/19/2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Josh Lindblom will make what he labeled his second major league debut Monday night when the right-hander starts for the Texas Rangers against the Oakland Athletics.

Lindblom, 25, has actually made his major league debut, pitching in 27 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011. Only it was as a reliever, as were the case for all 101 of his major league appearances with the Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies during the past two seasons.

Lindblom, who was made a reliever after struggling this spring training and being sent to Triple-A Round Rock, will get a chance in a different role Monday. The last time he started a game was in 2010 with Triple-A Albuquerque, when he made 10 starts and was moved to the bullpen.

"I really honestly never thought I'd have a chance to be a starter in the big leagues," Lindblom said. "But I came to an organization that really wants to get the most out of every player they have."

Lindblom has been able to expand the number of pitches he throws after throwing only a fastball and an out pitch. Now, as a starter, he can mix in his changeup, slider and curveball.

"I was really limiting myself as a pitcher," Lindblom said. "You watch all of the relievers out there going down to two pitches, a lot of them have a fastball and an out pitch. I have other pitches, and I wasn't able to use them."

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said internal discussions among the front office near the end of spring training led to the decision to try Lindblom as a starter. It's worked so far; he was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA for Triple-A Round Rock.

"He had a four-pitch mix," Daniels said. "We thought the way he was throwing that was going to work best down there."

Lindblom has lost 14 pounds since spring training and is down to 233 pounds.

He said he's improved his mental approach to the game. He received a DVD from ex-Phillies teammate Roy Halladay on the ABCs of the mental approach to the game. He's also talked at length to Rangers teammates Matt Harrison and Derek Lowe.

"I'm focusing on things that matter," Lindblom said.

Other Rangers notes:

Olt starting hitting program: Rangers infield prospect Mike Olt has started a hitting program with Triple-A hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh.

But general manager Jon Daniels said the specialists still haven't identified the problem with Olt's vision, which has landed him on the disabled list.

"You always like to have answers," Daniels said. "You deal with what you have."

Soria update: Daniels said that rehabbing reliever Joakim Soria, one of the Rangers' key offseason signings, should be able to resume throwing off a mound at the start of June and could be ready to pitch in the big leagues in early July.

Lewis set to go: Colby Lewis will pitch at 11 a.m. Monday in Frisco in a rehab start for the Double-A RoughRiders. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who will be on the second and final day of his rehab assignment, will catch Lewis.

Minor notes: Double-A Frisco left fielder Ryan Strausborger had four stolen bases Saturday night and has 14 for the season.