Lindblom in Texas after twice traded for All-Stars

Josh Lindblom has had a unique experience while playing only one

full season in the major leagues: He has already been traded twice

for All-Star players.

The big reliever is now with Texas after being dealt during

baseball’s winter meetings from Philadelphia with another pitcher

for longest-tenured Rangers player Michael Young. That came less

than six months after Lindblom had gone from the Los Angeles

Dodgers to the Phillies in a four-player deal for Shane

Victorino.

”I don’t think you ever get used to having to pick up and move

cities and teammates,” Lindblom said. ”It’s kind of like the

first day of school all over again.”

More unique for Lindblom is that both times he changed teams,

the 6-foot-4, 240-pound right-hander basically replaced a long-time

fan favorite on the roster.

”Coming here and replacing Michael, I don’t look at it that

way. I kind of got caught up in that when I went to Philly, coming

in and trying to be what Shane was to that city and to that team,”

he said. ”Just realizing that I can only be me, so you know when I

come in here, I can’t be Michael Young, I can’t be the person that

he was for the community, for the team, for the city. Michael Young

is going to go down as one of the greatest Rangers ever to put on a

uniform.”

Victorino played 7 1/2 seasons in Philadelphia, where he was

twice an All-Star before the non-waiver deadline deal last July 31.

Young was a seven-time All-Star infielder for the Rangers, spending

a dozen years with a team that went from last place to consecutive

World Series appearances and becoming their career hits leader.

While Lindblom is wearing the No. 25 jersey that belonged to

Mike Napoli, the slugging catcher who left in free agency for

Boston last winter, at least it’s not Young’s No. 10.

”All we want (Lindblom) to do is be Josh Lindblom,” Texas

manager Ron Washington said. ”If he tries to live up to the

expectation that Michael Young had around here, then he’s barking

up the wrong tree because there’s nobody going to fill those shoes.

… Just be Josh and he’ll be fine.”

Lindblom said he has come to the realization that he can only be

himself and that the Rangers traded for him ”for a reason, because

they think I can help this club.”

Lindblom is expected to be a primary setup man in a vastly

changed Rangers bullpen. He struck out the side in his only inning

of his first instrasquad game a week into camp.

In a combined 74 appearances last season for the Dodgers and

Phillies, Lindblom had a 3.55 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 35 walks

over 71 innings. He had a 4.63 ERA in 26 games after being sent to

Philadelphia.

Experience has helped Lindblom have a different mentality

following his latest move.

”There’s kind of a bitterness toward the team that traded you.

Because I figured I would always be with L.A,” Lindblom said of

the team that picked him in the second round of the 2008 draft. ”I

love that organization, but trying to justify the trade, trying to

go out and be like you know what, you got me for a reason, I’m here

to do a job. You feel like you have to be lights out and that’s not

the case at all.”