When the Brewers signed Josh Lindblom out of the KBO, he was coming off being one of the most dominant starters in that league, twice winning the league’s pitcher of the year award.
They believed their analytics showed his stuff would translate well stateside again, and they ended up taking a flier on him by signing him to a three-year deal worth a little more than $9 million — a price that would be worth it even if he just slotted into being a solid middle reliever.
Unfortunately, Lindblom struggled to be effective through his first 20 appearances for the Brewers (including 10 starts), putting up a 6.39 ERA on a 4.81 FIP and 70 ERA+. David Stearns and Matt Arnold once again decided to bail early on a signing that clearly wasn’t working out, designating Lindblom for assignment today to make room on the roster for Eric Lauer ahead of the lefty’s start tonight against San Diego.
LHP Eric Lauer recalled from Triple-A Nashville.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 26, 2021
RHP Josh Lindblom designated for assignment.
INF/OF Jace Peterson outrighted to Triple-A Nashville. pic.twitter.com/L2Kz6qO6yU
Lindblom was much better than his 5.16 ERA last year would indicate, with a much kinder 3.87 FIP and a career-best 10.3 K/9 rate. He was extremely hittable in his limited action so far this year, though, giving up 23 hits and 5 home runs in just 16.2 innings while also walking 10 batters.
While he still had the good spin on his fastball and curveball that caught the Brewers’ attention in Korea, the Statcast numbers indicated he was getting lit up in just about every way imaginable this year, with an average exit velocity that put him in the bottom 10% of the league.
The Brewers will be eating about $4.6 million over the last year and a half of Lindblom’s deal, unless someone else claims him or they can trade him.