Spring training position battles

A daily rundown of the MLB competitions for playing time in March and April

Updated: March 30, 2010, 3:42 PM ET
By Jason Catania, Charles Curtis and Doug Mittler | ESPN Insider

Houston Astros: Closer

Early nod to Lindstrom: The Astros have two relievers with closer credentials, but the early-season nod could go to Matt Lindstrom. ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney writes in Tuesday's blog that Lindstrom is weeks ahead of Brandon Lyon in the competition and "he's throwing his fastball in the upper 90s and complementing that velocity well with secondary pitches."

Lindstrom has not allowed a run in seven outings this spring with six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Lyon has appeared in four games and allowed two earned runs in five innings.

The Astros have committed $15 million over three years to Lyon, so he will get his chance at some point.

Doug Mittler

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