Funny how things work out. Two years ago years ago the Giants released then-27-year-old outfielder Todd Linden. Given the state of the team at the time, I thought the Yankees would do well to make a waiver claim. They never got the chance. The Marlins stepped in and picked up Linden, who went on to hit .271/.347/.364 over 144 plate appearances after destroying AAA. Not bad for a backup outfielder.
This was on May 11, 2007. The Yanks were 16-17 and were about to get blanked by Jarrod Washburn. Miguel Cairo had been put in as a defensive sub for Johnny Damon the night before. Melky Cabrera had an OPS of .593. Bobby Abreu had gone from OPSing .820 on April 14th to .634 heading into the day (and it would get down to .602). The team, and specifically the outfield was in tatters. Linden could have helped out there.
After putting up respectable numbers for Sacramento of the PCL (A’s) and more impressively Buffalo of the IL (Indians) in 2008, the Yanks signed Linden to a minor league contract this winter. He’s picking up where he left off last year, destroying the International League to the tune of .331/.406/.548. At this point he could be a better option at fourth outfielder than Brett Gardner, as Mike said on Thursday. In any case he’s a good guy to have in your system.
In other two-year-old news, Mike was excited for Roger Clemens to be working with our young pitchers. It seemed everyone was. Now most of us would like him to just stay away. It was also a good day in the minors, with both Joba Chamberlain and Alan Horne allowing zero earned runs. Jon Hovis put up a lot of zeroes, too. Hopefully he can keep that up in Trenton.