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Ankle injury hampered Matt Lindstrom’s 2014 season

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Aug 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom (27) delivers a pitch during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 season for Chicago White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom was basically a wash due to the fact he was inured for all but 35 games.

Apr 21, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom (27) pitches in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Chicago won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Lindstrom, who is listed as a free agent this offseason, injured his left ankle on May 19 against the Kansas City Royals which was his 19th appearance of the season at that point in time.

Before the injury, the right-handed reliever had a 3.32 ERA in the aforementioned 19 appearances in 19 innings on the mound. Lindstrom also had six saves at the time of the injury in nine opportunities at closer.

Also before he injured the left ankle, he allowed 19 hits, seven earned runs, two home runs and walked nine.

After the injury, Lindstrom, 35, didn’t see MLB action again until Aug. 13 in a game on the West Coast against the San Francisco Giants.

Upon his return, Lindstrom finished that part of his season, 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA. In 16 appearances, he pitched 15 innings, with opponents hitting .412 off of him. He struck out seven in his “second half of the season,” but allowed 28 hits and 12 earned runs.

All of that added up in a “lost season” for the reliever, equaled a 2-2 mark with a 5.03 ERA in 35 total appearances. He pitched 34 innings, giving up 19 earned runs, 12 walks and a total of 47 hits.

Opponents batted .338 off him, and his WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) was 1.74. His WAR (wins above replacement) fell to -0.6 in ’14, well below when he’s healthy like in 2013 when it was 1.4.

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Another stat of Lindstrom’s that I believe was inflated due to the injury and lack of time on the mound was his RA9 (runs allowed per nine innings) of 6.09, well above his ’13 number of 3.41.

Again, I can’t stress this enough, this season was a complete wash for Lindstrom. The most important thing for him was to heal up the ankle injury and work out some of the rust in game action late in the season, in games the White Sox had no chance of competing for a postseason spot.

Lindstrom’s spring training will be interesting to watch. He’s going to have to show better numbers in those outings than he did in late August and all of September if he wants to compete for the White Sox, or any other team in the majors in ’15.

The RHP joined the White Sox in 2013 when he signed as a free agent.

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