During the regular season, the Closer Hot Seat will be your go-to guide for Major League Baseball's bullpen chatter. During spring training, KFFL's Fantasy Baseball Bullpen Session will get you tuned up for the fantasy baseball saves chase. Camp happenings don't always impact closer battles, but if there's MLB news you should know for your fantasy baseball draft, you'll find it here.
Matt Lindstrom, once a promising closer candidate, was traded to the Baltimore Orioles from the Colorado Rockies this offseason. He has sacrificed K/9 over the past few years to harness control and make the most of his grounder inducement. Will the 32-year-old's new slider grip finally bring his skills together the way many dreamed of years ago?
Last year he minimized the use of a looping curveball that was easier to pick up in contrast with his high-90s four-seam and sinking fastballs, which often have too straight a path to the plate. Per Lindstrom, his slider modification came from Luis Ayala via cutter master Mariano Rivera when both were New York Yankees. Ideally, this reconstruction would more effectively disguise his slide piece.
He's still behind Jim Johnson in the O's saves race, but if this change translates when it matters, Lindstrom will offer helpful AL-only reliever stats, with potential for occasional mixed utility and at least a handful of closures.
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