Josh Lindblom is not good enough to be a Major League starting pitcher. Furthermore …
The Rangers offense mustered just 1 run on 4 hits against Baltimore LHP Wei-Yin Chen, and Lindblom is maybe the, what, 10th starting pitching option in the Ranger organization? Perhaps even lower than that. Either way, not the hombre you anticipate to match zeroes with the opposing starter.
But to keep matters in perspective, after taking the first 2 games in Baltimore, Wednesday night was a road game Texas was not supposed to win, as Josh Lindblom’s role closer resembles a warm body eating up innings, rather than some top-of-the-rotation Major League starter, or some facsimile thereof.
Lindblom slugged through 5.1 innings on the bump, giving up 6 runs on 9 hits, finishing the night with 4 walks and only 1 strikeout. And for the 3rd consecutive night, the Rangers’ starter tossed a season-high in pitches. Monday it was Derek Holland (125), Tuesday Martin Perez (99), and Lindblom (119) on Wednesday, which brings on the typical media pitch-count nazis:
Lindblom done after 119 pitches/5.1 IP. Likely sent down Thurs. Hope Rangers at least pick up baggage charge for dragging arm behind him.
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) July 11, 2013
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Of course, those same experts in pitch count and pitch selection are, I’m sure, very happy to see their perceptions justified in the case of Yu Darvish — who is heading to the DL tomorrow with a “mild strain in the pitcher’s right upper back.” (Jeff Seidel.)
The decision to put Darvish on the disabled list is believed to be a precautionary measure, and if you were to ask me, it’s an acknowledgement from the organization that, yes, Yu Darvish has been worked as hard — or harder — than any pitcher in the game in 2013, averaging an MLB-high 109.5 pitches/start. His arm could use some nap time.
The timing seems right — set the retroactive button back a few days, skip a Darvish start on Thursday, skip a meaningless inning in the All Star Game, and get your #1 starter prime for the 2nd half. Remember, the end-game for the Rangers is not the regular season. They want their players as fresh as freshly possible for the playoffs.
So if we’re forced into a Ross Wolf start tomorrow, and perhaps another [insert AAAA pitcher here] outing after the All Star Break, so be it. Baseball is like the casino and like life; sometimes you have to gamble in the short-term in hopes that it pays off down the road.