Lindstrom named closer
Astros manager Brad Mills said Tuesday right-hander Matt Lindstrom will be his closer to start the 2010 season. Lindstrom, acquired in a trade from Florida in December, hasn’t allowed an earned run in eight games this spring, striking out eight batters and allowing five hits in 8 2/3 innings
Lindstrom came into Spring Training competing with Brandon Lyon for the closer’s role, but Lyon didn’t pitch until March 18 after having a cyst drained in his right shoulder in January. Lyon, who signed a three-year, $15-million deal, has 54 career saves, including 26 with Arizona in 2008.
Lindstrom has saved 20 games in his career, including 15 with Florida last year.
“We told Brandon Lyon he was going to be extremely valuable for us and going to be extremely valuable getting to us getting to that point as we go forward,” Mills said. “Nothing against Brandon at all, but when Matt did throw the ball as well as he did and Brandon was getting slow in getting going, that was probably it.”
Lindstrom and Lyon were two one of the Astros’ biggest offseason acquisitions following the departure of closer Jose Valverde and setup man LaTroy Hawkins in free agency. In 191 career games – all with the Marlins – Lindstrom went 8-8 with a 3.88 ERA and 20 saves in 171 2/3 innings, striking out 144 batters and walking 71.