PDA

View Full Version : Prospect Profile: Randall Linebaugh



camisadelgolf
08-25-2008, 04:50 AM
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/images/players/mugshot/ph_446239.jpg
Randall Linebaugh (http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Randall%20Linebaugh&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=446239)
Like Mace Thurman (17th round), was taken out of Baylor University in the 37th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

In 2005, he saw limited playing time while a teammate of Mike Griffin's (Reds' 2005 draft pick and current Louisville Bat), but his career started to pick up steam during his sophomore year as he led Baylor starters with a 3.42 ERA. Heading into his junior year, he was expected to blossom as the team's ace, but he fell behind the pack with a high ERA and lackluster K/BB ratio. 2008 was a chance to rebound, but he was pushed to the bullpen and struggled even more, particularly with his command. At one time, he was expected to be a early-to-mid-round draft pick, but after his dreadful senior year, he slipped to late in the second day, where the Reds were fortunate enough to take a flier on him.

Since being drafted, he has been impressive with the Billings Mustangs. He hasn't allowed an earned run in over a month, and he's been turning heads with a fastball clocked at 92-94 MPH despite his 5'11" frame. At Baylor, he averaged 7.05 K/9IP and 3.96 BB/9IP, but in his 18.1 innings with Billings, he averages a remarkable 12.27 K/9IP and 2.95 BB/9IP. Obviously, it's too soon to know what is in store for Linebaugh, but if his start in Billings is any indication, he could have a very bright future ahead of him. Here are the stats on Linebaugh, who will turn 23 years old on October 2nd.


Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
BIL PIO 1 2 2.45 17 0 0 0 5 18.1 16 5 5 2 6 25 2.50 .239

And for all you Facebookers, here's his profile: http://es.facebook.com/people/Randall_Linebaugh/9210833

redsmetz
08-25-2008, 08:57 AM
This is a question I often have regarding guys who are relievers in the low minors - are clubs now grooming pitchers that soon as relievers. A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away :)), relievers came from the ranks of starting pitchers. Although I'm sure that was not universal, I still wonder about guys who are pegged early as a reliever (or, like Ryan Wagner are drafted as relievers, but that's another question).

Is this more common now?

camisadelgolf
08-25-2008, 10:33 AM
This is a question I often have regarding guys who are relievers in the low minors - are clubs now grooming pitchers that soon as relievers. A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away :)), relievers came from the ranks of starting pitchers. Although I'm sure that was not universal, I still wonder about guys who are pegged early as a reliever (or, like Ryan Wagner are drafted as relievers, but that's another question).

Is this more common now?

I can't really speak so much about the past--I'm in my mid-20s, so my knowledge of minor leagues before the '90s is pretty lmited. But nowadays, there are a few main factors that determine if someone is used as a starter or reliever.

A player's pitching arsenal is probably the biggest factor. Relievers can get by on two quality pitches, but a starter will ideally have four pitches he can throw with consistency because he sees the same hitters multiple times in a game. Matt Maloney has four pitches of almost equal quality that he can throw for strikes, but if he were to be in the bullpen, it would almost be as if one or two of his pitches would go to waste because he would never need to rely on the weaker pitches.

A player's frame, fair or not, comes into the equation, too. If he is a big guy, he is often considered to be more capable of handling a bigger workload. Danny Ray Herrera has the perfect stuff for a starter, but at 5'7" and 155 lbs. (soaking wet), there are big questions as to whether he could avoid injury if he were to throw 180 innings in a year. The fact that he throws a screwball, which is considered harder on the arm than most pitches, also plays a role in him being part of the bullpen.

Another thing to consider is how much development a player needs. For example, Sean Watson (who has been on fire after a slow start), has pretty much always been considered a future reliever due to his stuff, so they temporarily converted him to be a starter as an effort to get him more innings and experience. The Reds wanted him to work on command and locating his pitches (particularly his nasty knuckle curve), and as a result, we saw a guy with some of the best control in the system. However, since then, he has been used as a closer (which was his role in college), and both his strikeouts and walks are up quite a bit stemming from him being allowed to cut loose a little bit.

And one other thing to consider is the effect being in the bullpen/rotation will have on a player's velocity. Guys with good offspeed stuff and slow fastballs (i.e. mid-80s) are sometimes able to dial it up to a much more respectable 89 MPH in the bullpen, making his offspeed pitches more effective. Those extra few ticks can make the difference between some players being mediocre-at-best starters and above-average relievers.

And finally, a player's overall talent level is obviously considered as well. The theory is that your best pitchers should throw the most innings, so why put the next Roger Clemens in the bullpen when he could throw an extra 150 innings of quality baseball per year if he were a starter? And if you have a guy who can throw four decent pitches but with a low ceiling, you could use him as a starter, but if you have more talented pitchers with higher ceilings, it would make more sense to keep the lesser player in the bullpen and let the more talented guys pitch more innings, even if it's not the role he's best-suited for.

Of course, there are a million reasons for everything, and this probably doesn't help too much in explaining the difference between nowadays and 'way back when', but hopefully this educated someone who bothered to read this. I'm sure others here could help expound on this, but I think this is a good start.

OnBaseMachine
08-25-2008, 11:13 AM
From a couple days ago:

NOTES: Garcia said Santana would replace Randall Linebaugh on the roster.

"Linebaugh had to go home. His wife gave birth and I think he's got school so he won't be back so he (Santana) came in to take his place."

http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/08/24/sports/local/18-helena.txt

camisadelgolf
08-25-2008, 11:16 AM
I wasn't sure if I should mention it or not, but he's been married since December.

Puffy
08-26-2008, 11:52 AM
I don't like this dude. His name is too similiar to Rush Limbaugh.

camisadelgolf
08-26-2008, 12:15 PM
Well, I hope he needs less pain pills than Limbaugh to continue on with his career.