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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Top 100 San Diego Padres: #81 Scott Linebrink

The following is a guest article by Geoff Young of Ducksnorts, the San Diego Padres blog.


One of the shrewdest moves Padres GM Kevin Towers has made during his decade at the helm was plucking Linebrink off the waiver wire in late May 2003. The Astros had removed Linebrink from their roster to accommodate Geoff Blum, who was coming off the disabled list.

Linebrink promptly became one of the premier relievers in baseball, compiling an ERA lower than all but two other pitchers (the Yankees' Mariano Rivera and the Angels' Francisco Rodriguez) during his first three years in San Diego. Featuring a mid-90s fastball and nasty splitter, he has complemented closer Trevor Hoffman well as the Padres' top setup man.

Despite some injury issues in his minor-league career, Linebrink has proven to be quite durable, working in 73 games in both 2004 and 2005. When it looked as though Hoffman might bolt to Cleveland following the 2005 season, Linebrink was next in line to assume the role of closer. Although he has not performed in that capacity as a professional, there is little question that he would succeed if given the opportunity.

Linebrink is a better pitcher than most big-league closers today. The Padres are fortunate to have him waiting in the wings should anything happen to Hoffman.


Blogger LynchMob said...

His doing OK this year ... just not "lights out" ... too bad about all the HRs allowed (ex. yesterday) :-(

I'm still a fan of his ... and expect him to move UP this list!

GY - thanks for the writeup!

9:07 AM, June 30, 2006  
Blogger LynchMob said...

If you haven't read this ... http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/padres/20060711-9999-1s11padres.html ... it says this about Linebrink:

Towers has spurned offers for Linebrink in the past and will continue to hear from interested parties. “He is, by far, the most asked-about player on our club. Hands down,” Towers said. “Ten to 15 clubs within the last two months have asked about Linebrink. But I'm not willing to roll the dice and move a Linebrink. It would have to be a pretty darn good player. I'd have a hard time parting with Liney right now.”

9:40 PM, July 11, 2006  

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