After missing almost three full years because of two elbow surgeries, Biloxi native and onetime major leaguer Jacob Lindgren put up some good numbers in the low minors in 2019. The 26-year-old left-hander has been rewarded by the Chicago White Sox with a non-roster invitation to big league spring camp. ChiSox pitchers and catchers officially report Feb. 12. Lindgren was a second-round pick out of Mississippi State by the New York Yankees in 2014 after a junior season that saw him post a 0.81 ERA and average almost two strikeouts per inning. He made his MLB debut with the Yankees in 2015, appearing in seven games. But his career was detoured by injury the next year, when he had the first of his two Tommy John surgeries. He left the Yankees after the 2016 season, signed with Atlanta but didn’t pitch in an official game in the Braves’ system in 2017 or ’18, when he had his second surgery. The White Sox signed Lindgren as a minor league free agent last January. Once cleared to pitch, he worked at three levels and finished with a 2.83 ERA, 28 strikeouts and seven walks in 28 2/3 innings over 21 games. He’ll be a longshot to make the White Sox’s 26-man club this spring, but it must feel good just to have that opportunity. P.S. Other recent non-roster spring invitees include: Cooper Johnson (Ole Miss), Detroit; Henri Lartigue (Ole Miss), Philadelphia; Chuckie Robinson (Southern Miss), Houston; and Jacob Robson (State), Detroit.
Ethan Small made the headlines Tuesday, signing with Milwaukee for $1.8 million during a special appearance at Miller Park for the first-round draft pick. Meanwhile, far from the limelight, another ex-Mississippi State left-hander has been generating a little positive news of his own. Jacob Lindgren – remember him? – worked a scoreless inning Monday for the Arizona League White Sox. It was the third appearance in eight days in the rookie league for Lindgren, 26, who had last pitched in an official game in April 2016. Lindgren is trying to come back from two Tommy John surgeries, the most recent in March 2018. The Biloxi native was a second-round pick by the New York Yankees in 2014 after a brilliant season at State (0.81 ERA, 100 strikeouts in 55 innings) and reached the big leagues in 2015. He’s had arm problems virtually ever since. Atlanta signed him after the 2016 season, but he was never able to pitch in a game for the Braves. He became a free agent last November and signed with Chicago in January. Lindgren is technically on the Triple-A Charlotte roster, though it could be a while before he actually joins that club. P.S. On the AZL team with Lindgren is Brookhaven native James Beard, a fourth-round pick this year by the White Sox who is batting .235 in four pro games. … East Central Community College product Tim Anderson, the White Sox’s big league shortstop, is to be reevaluated today after suffering a sprained ankle in Tuesday’s game at Boston. Could be a tough blow for Anderson, who is having a career year (.317, 11 homers, 15 steals) and was the American League’s player of the month in April.
Curious to see what’s next for Jacob Lindgren, the ex-Mississippi State star from Biloxi who has been removed from Atlanta’s 40-man roster and outrighted to Triple-A. Lindgren had Tommy John surgery – his second one – last March and missed all of the 2018 season. The left-hander also missed all of the 2017 season and pitched just seven innings in 2016. The Braves signed him as a minor league free agent after the 2016 season. The future seemed so bright for Lindgren in 2014. After a dominant season at State (0.81 ERA, 100 strikeouts in 55 innings), he was picked in the second round of the draft by the New York Yankees. He made his big league debut in May of 2015. Shortly thereafter, the arm problems began. Some pitchers have returned from two Tommy John surgeries, but the odds aren’t great.
Brian Dozier, last year’s runner-up in the all-Mississippi home run race, is leading the pack at the Memorial Day mark. With nine home runs this season — including two on Sunday — the former Southern Miss star is tops among the 11 Mississippians who’ve appeared in the majors. He leads Ole Miss alumni Chris Coghlan by two and Zack Cozart by three. Collectively, Mississippi-connected players have hit 43 homers in 2015. Ex-Mississippi State star Mitch Moreland belted the 40th — his fourth of the season — on Friday at Yankee Stadium. Last year’s champion (with 24 bombs) was Meridian Community College product Corey Dickerson, currently on the disabled list with five. UM alum Seth Smith has hit four. Dozier erupted with a career-high 23 homers last season, when he was picked for the Home Run Derby at his home field in Minnesota. He is on a current power trip with five homers in his last eight games. P.S. Southern Miss/William Carey alum Dan Jennings, after starting 0-5 as Miami manager, has won two in a row, both at the expense of ex-MSU star Buck Showalter’s Baltimore club. Showalter was an ardent supporter of the Marlins’ much-debated decision to move Jennings from GM to skipper. Former Mississippi Braves star Martin Prado got the game-winning hit (in the 13th inning) for the Marlins on Saturday and delivered a key home run Sunday. … The New York Yankees have brought up lefty reliever Jacob Lindgren, the ex-State standout who had such a terrific pro debut in 2014 and almost made the big club this spring.
For most young players, a non-roster invitation to major league spring training is just ceremonial. They’ll get a look and a taste of big-league life, but they aren’t a real threat to make the 25-man cut for the start of the season. But Jacob Lindgren, the former Mississippi State and St. Stanislaus High star, definitely bears watching in the coming weeks in the New York Yankees’ camp. Despite having pitched only 24 2/3 innings as a pro, the 5-foot-11 left-hander is being mentioned as a viable candidate for the Yanks’ bullpen. Lindgren was almost unhittable at State last year: 0.81 ERA, 100 strikeouts in 55 innings. The Yankees took him with their top pick — 55th overall — and Lindgren moved swiftly though four levels of the minors last summer. He recorded a 2.19 ERA, 48 strikeouts and 13 walks and did not allow a home run. He throws in the mid-90s and scouting reports say his slider may be the best in the Yankees’ minor league system. The Yankees have a strong bullpen, including veteran lefties Andrew Miller and Justin Wilson. But there is always room for another quality southpaw. P.S. Another ex-MSU lefty, MLB veteran Paul Maholm, recently signed a minor league deal with Cincinnati and will be in the Reds’ camp. Maholm pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014.
It’s a small sample size but impressive nonetheless. In 13 1/3 professional innings, Mississippi State product Jacob Lindgren has racked up 30 strikeouts with a 0.68 ERA. New York Yankees officials reportedly are calling the 5-foot-11 left-hander “the Strikeout Factory.” Lindgren was an All-America pick this year at State after moving from the rotation to the bullpen and fanning 100 batters in 55 1/3 innings. He was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the June draft, 55th overall, and has quickly moved through three levels. He is currently pitching at high Class A Tampa, where he posted a four-strikeout inning on Sunday. Speculation is that a promotion to Double-A, the real proving ground, may come soon. P.S. We are back to zero former Jackson Generals in the big leagues after the New York Mets designated Bobby Abreu for assignment on Monday. It seems unclear whether the 40-year-old Abreu will go back to the minors.