Former Phillies RHP Josh Lindblom Earns KBO MVP Award

Relief pitcher Josh Lindblom #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Relief pitcher Josh Lindblom #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Right-hander Josh Lindblom, who the Phillies acquired as part of the trade that sent Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers, has been named KBO MVP.

Former Philadelphia Phillies right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom has been named Most Valuable Player of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

Lindblom, who had a career 4.10 ERA spanning 114 games in the majors, found success this past season overseas action, going 20-3 with a 2.50 ERA for the Doosan Bears. He was the league’s only 20-game winner, and also posted the most strikeouts (189) and innings pitched (194 2/3), as well as the best WHIP (1.00), opponents’ batting average (.226) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.52).

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The 32-year-old, Lafayette, Indiana, native appeared in 26 games with the Phillies in 2012 after being acquired on July 31 as part of the trade that sent fan-favorite and 2008 World Series champion center fielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles. He finished the year going 1-3 with a 4.63 ERA, 27-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and 1.543 WHIP spanning 23 1/3 innings in red pinstripes.

That offseason, the Phillies dealt Lindblom as part of the trade that brought perennial Texas Rangers infielder Michael Young to Philadelphia.

Lindblom last appeared in the majors in 2017, when he allowed nine earned runs in 10 1/3 innings and four games with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over the past three seasons in Korea, Lindblom has combined to go 40-10 spanning 68 starts.

The Korea Times writes that Lindblom won the MVP award “in a landslide,” earning “716 points in a media vote, dusting the runner-up, NC Dinos catcher Yang Eui-ji, by 364 points.”

Lindblom is the fifth foreign player to be named KBO MVP, according to the Times, joining Tyrone Woods (1998), Daniel Rios (2007), Eric Thames (2015) and Dustin Nippert (2016).

Given Lindblom’s success in Korea, the right-hander is now expected to receive multi-year offers to return to Major League Baseball, “once he becomes an international free agent Saturday under KBO rules,” Morosi notes.