Lefty prospect Lindgren gets first callup
NEW YORK -- Jacob Lindgren has been on a fast track to the Majors since the moment that the Yankees called his name in the most recent First-Year Player Draft, a journey that culminated Sunday with the left-hander slipping on the pinstripes for the first time.
Lindgren was summoned from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help shore up an overtaxed Yankees bullpen for the series finale against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium. The 22-year-old, who was pitching in college just 12 months ago, said that his last year-plus has been "a crazy ride."
"I met a lot of guys on the way up and learned a lot of things, just trying how to be a professional," Lindgren said. "From the college game to the professional game is a little different. It's a different routine. They're playing on the weekends and we're playing every day, so you try to add on to your routine and learn different things."
Lindgren is ranked as the Yankees' No. 9 prospect, according to MLB.com. He was the Yanks' first selection last June, taken from Mississippi State in the second round (55th overall).
After moving from the rotation to become a dominant reliever in college, Lindgren continued that transition in pro ball; in 15 appearances at Triple-A this year, he was 1-1 with a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings, permitting 16 hits with 10 walks and 29 strikeouts.
"This is a guy I'm not going to be afraid to pitch at any time," manager Joe Girardi said. "We've been talking about getting his feet wet and not putting him in too overwhelming of a situation the first time, but we liked what we saw in Spring Training and he's done well in Triple-A. He's moved quickly. He's going to get in."
In corresponding roster moves to add Lindgren, who had his contract purchased from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was added to the 40-man roster, the Yanks optioned right-hander Branden Pinder to Triple-A. Infielder Brendan Ryan was also transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Girardi said that he was impressed this spring by the number of ground balls that Lindgren induced, as well as the lack of solid contact that hitters were able to produce.
"You're not going to see people square the ball up on him. It's pretty impressive," Girardi said.
Sunday marked Lindgren's first trip to Yankee Stadium; he arrived in New York late Saturday night after getting the word of his callup from Triple-A manager Dave Miley, then hopped in a cab Sunday afternoon for the ride to the Bronx, where a uniform jersey with No. 64 on it was waiting in his locker.
"I think there's always going to be nerves, but I'm sure after I throw that first pitch or when that batter steps in, I'll be ready and locked in," Lindgren said.