Comfort Zone

Josh Lindblom takes a mellower approach to his 2nd big league camp





GLENDALE, Ariz.—One year after he was the Dodgers' darling of spring training, Josh Lindblom is settling into a comfort zone.

The imposing 6-foot-5, 240-pound righthander has every intention of creating the same type of buzz he did last March, when he was a late addition to big league camp, but this year he's just trying to take a low-key approach.

"I'm still young and I realize that last year there were a lot of things I needed to learn and there still are a lot of things I need to learn," said Lindblom, before going out and throwing two quick scoreless innings in a B game against the White Sox. "I don't really see not making it as a failure, but if I go out and don't learn anything, that would be a failure to me."

A year ago, though, he wasn't so open-minded when his breakthrough spring still led to an assignment to start the season in Double-A. He admitted to watching Dodgers games or peeking at box scores and wondering why he wasn't with the big club.

He wasn't exactly spinning his spring experience into regular season gold, but after a 3-5, 4.71 performance in 14 appearances (11 starts) at Double-A Chattanooga, he was promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Pitching mostly out of relief in Triple-A, he went 3-0, 2.54 in 20 appearances.

"He was definitely an option if he was needed for us (in the major leagues)," assistant general manager De Jon Watson said. "We'll keep developing him. We'll have to see how major league spring training shakes out for him this year and how the club shakes out. But he's an interesting young man with a good arm."

Already this spring, Lindblom had the opportunity of a lifetime when he received one-on-one instruction from Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. It was just one more chance to become a better-educated pitcher.

"Whether I throw bad or whether I throw well, I will learn something every time out," Lindblom said. "That's really what spring's all about, learning yourself so you're prepared."

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

• Outfielder Trayvon Robinson earned rave reviews from manager Joe Torre after the first B game of the spring. Robinson, who batted .276 at high Class A Inland Empire last season, was one of 33 Dodgers players that traveled to Taiwan for three spring exhibition games against Taiwanese all-star teams.

• Torre was impressed with righthander Jon Link, whom the Dodgers got from the White Sox in the Juan Pierre trade, after seeing him in his first spring outing. "Link was very aggressive," Torre said. "I watched him warm up in the pen. He didn't hurt (his chances)."