May 17, 2013
Boilers in Pro Ball | Lindblom MLB Page | JoshLindblom.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Purdue baseball alumnus Josh Lindblom has been called up by the Texas Rangers and is scheduled to make his first big league start Monday in a home game against the Oakland Athletics.
Lindblom had served strictly as a reliever at the MLB level during his time with Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. He was first called up to the big leagues by the Dodgers in May 2011. He was in the majors for all of 2012, getting sent to the Phillies in the trade-deadline deal when the Dodgers acquired Shane Victorino.
After getting traded to the Rangers in the Michael Young deal in December, Texas opted to convert Lindblom to a starter while assigning him to the Triple-A Round Rock Express to begin the season. The Lafayette native has been pitching well as a starter, compiling a 4-0 record and 2.08 ERA in 43 1/3 innings. His 0.88 WHIP was tops in the Pacific Coast League.
Texas had to place starter Alexi Ogando on the disabled list this week due to right biceps tendinitis. The Rangers are also currently without reliable lefty Matt Harrison, who had back surgery in April and is expected to be sidelined through the All-Star Break. It's unclear at this time if Monday's opportunity will be strictly a spot start for Lindblom or if he will have a chance to remain with the big league club. The Rangers have off days on May 23 and 28 but have a day-night doubleheader at Arizona scheduled for Memorial Day.
Lindblom will become the first Purdue alumnus to make a start in the majors since Jay Buente (2003-06) in May 2011 for the then Florida Marlins. Lindblom (2007-08) made nine starters for the Boilers in 2007 before taking over as the team's top reliever for the 2008 campaign, a season in which he had 12 saves and helped Purdue finished second in the Big Ten.
In 101 career appearances at the MLB level, Lindblom has compiled a 4-5 record, 3.31 ERA and 98 strikeouts. He has lowered his walks per nine innings ratio this season in the minors and that could serve him well if he gets an opportunity to stay in the big leagues again.
Among other Purdue alumni in the pros, Dan Black (2007-09) is batting .309 with 34 RBI and 30 walks for the Double-A Birmingham Barons in the Chicago White Sox system. Matt Bischoff (2007-10) was promoted to the Double-A level in the Baltimore Orioles system. He was once again a teammate of with Andy Loomis (2007-08) with the Bowie Baysox until Loomis returned to the Triple-A level with the Norfolk Tides.
But it has been would-be-seniors Cameron Perkins (2010-12), Kevin Plawecki (2010-12) and Nick Wittgren (2011-12) that have performed at the highest level early this season in the minors. Perkins is batting .361 with 22 extra-base hits and 25 RBI while playing outfield for the High-A Clearwater Threshers in the Phillies system. As of May 16, he leads the Florida State League in hits (56) and doubles (16) while also ranking third in batting average and slugging percentage (.361). Perkins was named the Phillies' MiLB Player of the Week on May 6.
In the same league for the Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins system), Wittgren has eight saves, a 0.90 ERA and 25 strikeouts versus two walks in 20 innings pitched. He's third in the FSL in saves and sports a 0.80 WHIP.
Plawecki is batting .362 with 25 extra-base hits and 29 RBI for the Class-A Savannah Sand Gnats in his first full season in the New York Mets system. He's leading the South Atlantic League in batting average and doubles (19) while ranking second in slugging percentage (.623).