Saturday, May 30, 2015


After a meteoric rise through the minor leagues, Jacob Lindgren finally made it to the major leagues. His major league debut came in the eighth inning of a 14-1 rout by the Yankees over the Kansas City Royals. It was the perfect place to put a rookie pitcher in for his first appearance, and no one was more excited to see him coming into a game than me.

I've been watching rookies come up for longer than this one has been alive, many of them regarded as the next superstar to change the face of the organization. Lindgren is showing the kind of potential that may be putting him into that conversation. As the Yankees PR tweeted out shortly after his entrance into the game, "He's the first Yankee to make his MLB debut within 1yr of being drafted since Deion Sanders (30th Rd '88)." Let that sink in for a minute. In less than one year, he has played in a grand total of 34 games, moved up through five levels of minor league ball, and has made it to the Bronx. You don't do that with garden variety pitches.

His stats in the minors are phenomenal. While there have been some good arguments about why the Yankees should have been bringing up the kids, Lindgren should have been the poster child of the movement. He pitched two solid innings of relief against a good Royals lineup. He faced seven batters - 2 strikeouts,  2 walks, 2 fly-outs, and a ground ball double play. That's fairly consistent with what we've seen in AAA this year.  Opposing batters were hitting .195 against him. His ERA was 1.23 and his K/9 was 11.9.

His control continues to be an issue though he had been doing well at AAA with a 4.1 walks per 9 innings. Those 2 walks on Monday may have made some hold their breath. For now, I chalk it up to nerves. His velocity and mix of pitches was very good. His fastball topped out at just under 92, and his slider was between 81 and 84 with good movement.

It's hard to predict the future based on just one game, especially with a 13 run lead. Still, you have to feel good about the kids coming up. If you've been like me, frustrated at the Yankees' seeming reluctance to take a chance on these guys in the farm system, you're feeling some vindication and a lot of mojo based on performances like Lindgren's. Give him innings on the mound, and we have the makings of something special here.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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