The Philadelphia Phillies have traded veteran outfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a pair of young pitchers, right-handers Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin. Let's take a look at the newest additions to the Philadelphia stable of pitching.
Josh Lindblom, RHP: The Dodgers drafted Lindblom in the second round in 2008, out of Purdue University. They tried using him as a starter, but a velocity drop in 2010 resulted in a switch to relief work, which he seems well-suited for. He has performed quite well (on the surface) as a rookie, posting a 3.02 ERA in the Dodgers bullpen, with a 43/18 K/BB ratio in 48 innings and 42 hits allowed. Although his minor league track record was inconsistent, he's been more effective since moving to relief full-time.
There are some warning signs in the numbers: his FIP is considerably higher than his ERA, with a 5.05 mark, likewise his xFIP at 4.33. It wouldn't be a surprise if he sees regression in his new environment, and at this point he is more solid middle man than future closer.
Lindblom is a 6-4, 240 pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born June 15, 1987 in Lafayette, Indiana. He has a 90-94 MPH fastball and mixes in a slider, curveball, and occasional changeup.
Ethan Martin, RHP: Martin was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round in 2008, from high school in Toccoa, Georgia. A two-way player as a prep, the Dodgers wanted his strong arm on the mound. He performed well in the Midwest League in '09, but in '10 his command collapsed after he moved up to the California League, resulting in a 6.35 ERA and 81 walks in 113 innings. He was even worse last year, with a 7.36 ERA in 55 innings in the Cal League, but the Dodgers moved him up to Double-A anyway. The change in environments, as well as bullpen work, helped him regroup. Returning to the rotation at Chattanooga this spring, Martin has a 3.58 ERA with a 112/61 K/BB in 118 innings, with just 89 hits allowed.
Listed at 6-2, 195, Martin is a right-handed hitter and thrower, born June 6th, 1989. He's got plenty of arm strength with a mid-90s fastball, but his command remains erratic and his curveball, slider, and changeup all need additional development. That said, all four pitches show potential, especially the curve, and he's made significant improvements with mound presence and maturity over the last year. He can still develop into a mid-rotation starter, or a power-armed reliever.
I think this can work for both teams. Victorino is a nice guy for the Dodgers to have down the stretch, and they didn't give up Zach Lee or Allen Webster to get him. However, Martin still has plenty of upside to tempt the Phillies, and Lindblom is a serviceable relief arm.