Two years ago on RAB: We call for Todd Linden


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.

Categories : Days of Yore


  1. Funny how things work out, isn’t it?

    Some year, down the road, when I have like ten editions of BP I’ll find one player that’s played all of those years and chronicle his career in BP write ups.

    I bet it’s amazing.

  2. nilnil says:

    We as fans are calling too many times. We bemoan about Gar last year, we called for Melacan, Davidson, and Tomko last month, but all failed to deliver. I remember some guy call for E. Duncan when he was hot at AAA, wow now we want Linden. I dont think Linden is better choice than Gar, since he had chance for Major but failed. Miranda may be a choice now.

    • Jamal G. says:

      So would it be wrong for me to call for the correct spelling of names and such?

      [I kid, I kid.]

    • A few points: Perhaps these players “failed” because they were allowed less than 5 innings each to prove their worth. Perhaps that’s not a great way to evaluate ballplayers.

      Second, who was calling for Tomko? Not any of the three of us. In fact, while allowing for the fact that Tomko has thrown about one inning for the Yanks, I believe I predicted the fact that he would be bad. No one wants Tomko.

      Third, what’s your beef with Linden other than that the other guys we supposedly were calling for supposedly failed? That’s not a very compelling argument against Linden.

      No one expects Linden to be a savior, but considering his track record, he’s a good bet to outperform Brett Gardner or Angel Berroa off the bench.

      • Tony says:

        I’m not saying it means anything (because it doesn’t), however, it’s a fitting reply to this thread and the points made in nilnil’s comment:

        In the linked DotF-

        “Shelley Duncan: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI – .330-.398-.689-1.088, stick Matsui in RF, bench Bobby, and let Shelley play LF”

        Just sayin’…

        • Clearly, that’s a knee-jerk, and we were wrong/hyperbolic at the time. I’m not saying to bench any of the starting nine or established veterans. I’m simply saying that the Yanks’ bench would be stronger with Linden than it is with Gardner and his 49 OPS+.

        • Do you remember how bad Bobby was at that point? I mean, it was beyond horrible.

      • Tom Zig says:

        Correct me if I am wrong, but the RAB guys and many of the commenters thought it was tooooo early to call up Melancon.

      • nilnil says:

        Hi Kabak, I just want to say that as a fan we want to call out a lot. I dont think Linden is better than Gardner. If you and Cashman think Linden is a better fit, do the Yank have to clear a spot for him?

  3. dan says:

    I actually remember that DotF, being surprised at Joba’s 4 walks. IIRC, he had an absolute masterpiece his next time out. Also of note: there are only 2 comments on that post. Oh how far we’ve come.

    • andrew says:

      agreed. it’s pretty crazy for those of us who have been here from the beginning (or near the beginning). Even though I didn’t start commenting until this off-season, it’s been a fun ride.

  4. My Own Horn says:

    “Two years ago on RAB: We call for Todd Linden”


  5. JeffG says:

    I’d prefer Bret as a fourth outfielder as Melky can pick up most games in center and Bret is the late inning base stealing threat.

  6. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I think one reason, looking at his stats, that Linden is not up in the majors is because of the negative walks he draws.

  7. Bo says:

    Linden would make a little more sense on the major league roster than Gardner. Gardner could actually go down and play everyday and actually work on his game. Unless they have soured on him that much that they think he’s a 4th OF.

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