2011 Rockies Player Review: Matt Lindstrom

DENVER, CO - MAY 01: Relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom #27 of the Colorado Rockies works against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning at Coors Field on May 1, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Pirates defeated the Rockies 8-4. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

When Matt Lindstrom was acquired last off-season from the Houston Astros in return for lower level prospects Jonnathan Aristil and Wes Musick, it was hailed pretty universally as a good move for the Rockies. After all, neither prospect had a high probability of contributing much if at all to the MLB level, while the 31 year-old Lindstrom had already been an above replacement reliever (and a "proven closer") and was still arbitration eligible.

I'm never a fan of paying big money for the bullpen, but at least Lindstrom seemed like a solid bet to provide some value for his $2.8 million salary. Over 63 games in the 2011 season, he pretty much had the season I thought he would. Hurling high 90s heat and mixing in a good slider, Lindstrom was an above league average reliever in 2011 (as his 71 ERA- and 78 FIP- would indicate).

Over 54 innings pitched (yes, he averaged less than one inning per outing), Lindstrom had a 3.00 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 3.30 FIP while managing a 2.57 K/BB ratio and going 2-2 on the year. His lower HR/FB ratio (5.7%) combined with a career low BABIP (.287) and BB rate (2.33/9) were helpful, while his career low K rate (6.0/9) was harmful.

The positive factors led to a variance in how the two WAR systems measured him, as Fangraphs rated him at 0.8 fWAR while Baseball-Reference awarded him 1.4 rWAR. As I've stated before on this site, I prefer rWAR for pitchers (and not just because it makes Lindstrom look better).

Rating and the future below the fold.

Rating: B

In terms of his 2011 performance, Lindstrom pitched better than the average middle reliever, so he is awarded an above average rating.

2012: Lindstrom is under contract for $3.6 million in 2012 and has a $4 million team option in 2013 that is easy to see getting exercised. Relievers are the most volatile year-to-year commodities in MLB, but Lindstrom has pretty reliably hovered around 1 rWAR for his career, so that's what I'd expect from the fireballer next season in a set-up role/3rd string closer. I find it very interesting that his top comparable player according to Baseball-Reference is Manny Corpas, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence for the future.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker