Two years ago on RAB: We call for Todd Linden

Brackman dominates, but Charleston loses in extras
A pair of ostentatious Stadium tales

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.

email
Brackman dominates, but Charleston loses in extras
A pair of ostentatious Stadium tales
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

    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.

  • nilnil

    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.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

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

      [I kid, I kid.]

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      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

        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’…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          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+.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

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

      • Tom Zig

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

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I thought May was too early, and in retrospect, I think I’m both right and wrong.

          I don’t think he was ready and think that’s why he was nervous, pressed, and struggled. But, I think we probably benefit in the long run for having brought him up, since he was going to come up and join the pen fulltime at some point this year, it likely helps that he got his first round of jitters and hiccups out of the way. I think when he comes back up permanently in June or July, he’s probably better for the experience.

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            Either that or he’s mentally crushed and will never make it in NY. ;-)

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              That too.

      • nilnil

        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?

  • http://statspeak.net dan

    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

      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.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ My Own Horn

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

    TOOT! TOOT TOOT TOOT!

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Who is that using a fake name again today, like you did yesterday? I thought that meme went into TSJC’s compendium of dead jokes months ago. Is that The Artist?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Hey, those jokes aren’t “dead”.

        BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
        UUUUOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!!!!

        • jsbrendog

          no but i thought the “powers that be” handed down a moratorium that changing your name to be all cool and such was banned.

          like the “change your name to the player that says hellooo instead of saying [insert player’s name here] says hellooo”

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            You’re correct in that we agreed to not do that anymore.

            I was just defending the honor of our compendium.

            • jsbrendog

              as it should be. carry on.

            • steve (different one)

              while i agree that this violates the said rule, i thought this was a pretty good use of that “joke”.

              some minor contraband here, but i think exceptions can be made. /Shawshank

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                I didn’t mind it because he was making fun of us.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Joseph, ban yourself immediately.

  • JeffG

    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.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Yeah, but isn’t a pinch-hitter more valuable than a pinch-runner? Linden would probably be a more effective pinch-hitter than Gardner.

      • steve (different one)

        once A-Rod shows he is 100% good to go, you can slide Pena into that pinch running role, send Gardner down, and add a bat.

      • Tom Zig

        Dave Roberts was probably the only time.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          And, as a hitter, Roberts >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Gardner, so even he provided at least a bare modicum of pinch-hitting ability.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

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

    • V

      Pinch hitters don’t need to be well-rounded players.

      A guy who can get a hit 30% of the time, and is capable of hitting a homerun, is more than useful.

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “Pinch hitters don’t need to be well-rounded players.”

        Nobody’s saying a pinch-hitter has to have great range in the outfield or anything, but I think the ability to draw a walk is certainly part of the measure of how good a hitter a player is.

        • V

          Well, good luck finding pinch hitters who can hit .300/.400/.500 ;-)

          • V

            http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/p.....rpage/7969

            That’s about what I expect from a pinch hitter.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I never said the guy has to hit .300/.400/.500. That’s a straw-man argument.

            Once again: “Nobody’s saying a pinch-hitter has to have great range in the outfield or anything, but I think the ability to draw a walk is certainly part of the measure of how good a hitter a player is.”

            I also note that the post, above, is inaccurate. Linden’s OBP this season at SWB is .401. http://web.minorleaguebaseball.....pid=425821

            (Joe – I would have emailed with that correction instead of posting it in a comment but I didn’t notice it until now and it’s relevant to this conversation.)

            • steve (different one)

              right, that was the joke that started this “argument”.

              “neagative walks”…b/c Joe listed his OBP as 25 points lower than his BA

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                You make one typo and everyone turns into a joke.

                Screw you guys, I’m going home.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                “neagative walks”…b/c Joe listed his OBP as 25 points lower than his BA

                Maybe he got a lot of hits but was called out for rounding first instead of overrunning the bag…

            • V

              Aha, my bad.

              Again, though, I’d be more than happy with a .300/.325/.425 pinch hitter.

      • V

        I STILL remember this game – http://www.retrosheet.org/boxe.....LN2002.htm

      • steve (different one)

        guys, i assume this was a joke….look at his stats in the post.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          That’s why you are the smart one Steve.

        • V

          ‘Negative Walks’ is a joke, as his OBP is less than his BA (sac flies and the like count as PAs but not ABs).

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            But it’s not. It was a typo.

  • Bo

    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.