CHICAGO -- Despite allowing six runs on nine hits over his last 4 2/3 innings, Matt Lindstrom has served as a steadying force for the 2013 White Sox bullpen.
Lindstrom ranks first in the American League with his 57 appearances and first with the 13 double plays he has induced, a number he's accrued even with the White Sox having a poor defensive season. Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain's departures via trade make Lindstrom the senior member of a talented relief crew and could work in Lindstrom's favor where his $4 million option for 2014 is concerned.
The much talked about White Sox 2014 reshape -- as opposed to a full rebuild -- is based on the South Siders' strong pitching. Lindstrom appreciates that pitching directed the thought process, and seems to appreciate being the old man in relief at just 33.
"It does seem strange a little bit," Lindstrom said. "But we have a lot of mature guys down there for being 24 or 25 years old. They are showing a lot of poise, and they don't really seem like youngsters or anything like that. It's kind of nice to talk with those guys and maybe give them a little bit of knowledge that I've gained from other teams and other players that I've played with.
"We have a good group down there, so I would love to come back here next year. We've heard that with these guys saying that our pitching is the most important thing, and that's just the way it is in the game today. We are just right there. We just need a break or two. It seems like that everything that can happen wrong has gone wrong for us."
As a free agent prior to this season, Lindstrom explained that he had targeted the White Sox as a team he wanted to join. This dismal '13 campaign now serves as another reason why Lindstrom hopes his option gets picked up, and he can stay with the White Sox.
"Yeah, absolutely, and more so to prove to White Sox fans that this year is kind of a fluke," Lindstrom said. "We didn't think that this was going to be the way this team was going to be this year. We had loftier expectations than what's happened this year, including myself. I came over as a free agent and wanted to pitch for this club. I would love to come back here next year and totally turn things around a little bit.
"Our team has lost a lot of veteran presence in Jake [Peavy] and Matt, and we miss them. At the same time, you see that's how organizations are starting to improve. The Cardinals, Pirates -- all these guys, home-grown talent, trades with other teams having really good players. You have to have a mix of a little bit of both."