First year pitcher Josh Lindblom was chosen as the MVP (pitcher) of the month (April) by the Lotte Giants. Lindblom, who signed a 1-year $900,000 deal with the Giants this off-season, has lived up to high expectations as the team’s ace. Not only is he in his prime (27, soon to be 28 years old), but he had one of the most impressive MLB experience (5-8, 3.82 ERA in 110 appearances) of any player that has come to the KBO. During this previous month, Lindblom took the league by storm. In 6 starts, he holds a 4-1 record, with a 2.81 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His most notable performance came against the Samsung Lions on 4/24/15, where he went 9 innings, giving up 6 hits, allowing 3 runs, while striking out 9 in the victory. Lindblom is also atop of several pitching categories in the league: 1st (W), 2nd (ERA), 3rd (WHIP), 2nd (IP), 5th (K).
In addition to his dominant performance on the field, Lindblom has become one of the fan favorites around the entire league for his ability, and willingness to learn Korean. It has now become a common sight for Lindblom to greet fans in Korean during post-game interviews, as well as tweeting in Korean. Typically, there has been a gap between the Korean fans and foreign players in the KBO due to the large language barrier. Because fans are aware how difficult it is to learn a new language, they hold special appreciation for players who are willing to do so.
— Josh Lindblom (@JoshLindblom52) March 22, 2015
Lindblom was one of the players that attended the KBO Seminar hosted by GSI prior to the start of spring training in January, 2015. The acculturation seminar focused on the differences in the culture, food, baseball and other challenges that foreign players may face while playing in Korea. The seminar sought to inform players with the differences to ease the transition for not only themselves, but to their family members as well. Although it is early in the season, Lindblom appears to have successfully transitioned to Korea on and off the field, and will likely remain a force to be reckoned with throughout the season.
Highlight clip against the Doosan Bears: