Hot Stove: Lindstrom to Houston

Lindstrom looks to close in Houston.

ESPN.com News: “The Houston Astros got hard-throwing reliever Matt Lindstrom from Florida on Wednesday, hoping he can help fill a late-inning hole in their bullpen. Houston sent two low-level minor leaguers and a player to be named to the Marlins.”

Diamond Cutter Spin: With the departure of Jose Valverde from the back end of the Astros bullpen, they were definitely in need of a new closer. Now the only question remains is which Matt Lindstrom will they get? The dominant fire baller who blows hitters away or the guy who allowed 18 earned runs in only 2 1/3 innings during a stretch last season? Here’s my scouting report on Lindstrom…

Diamond Cutter Scouting Report on Matt Lindstrom:

Matt Lindstrom has a cannon-loaded arm and has just the make-up you would want in your closer. He has a nice clean delivery which helps him keep control of the strike zone. His best pitch is without question his nuclear fastball that sits between 95-99 mph and will at times hit 100 mph on the radar. It gets on hitters in a hurry with a late explosion that seems have a life of its own as it approaches the plate. He utilizes it best when the blows it by hitters up in the zone where they have little chance to catch up to it. But when hitters are looking fastball, he frustrates them by throwing a hard, slanted slider that sits around 86 mph and darts away from righties. Also mixes in an occasional changeup for good measure. Now that he is the man to shut the door on opponents, he needs to make sure to keep his pitch selection in check and not get too revved up and let his fastball get away from him.

Needless to say Lindstrom ran into some trouble last season and the Astros just need to make sure they have his head clear heading into the season. This is even more important considering how depleted their bullpen is after the loss of Valverde after he declined arbitration and LaTroy Hawkins signing with Milwaukee earlier today.

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