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St. Louis Cardinals Sign Kyle McClellan Clone Scott Linebrink to Minor-League Deal

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The St. Louis Cardinals signed free agent right-handed relief pitcher Scott Linebrink to a minor-league contract today that also comes with an invitation to Spring Training. Upon learning of the signing, I brought up Linebrink's Fangraphs page to se what type of pitcher the Cardinals were inviting to big-league camp in Jupiter. What immediately jumped out to me about Linebrink is just how similar his numbers are to those of Kyle McClellan.

This became apparent to me when looking at Linebrink's numbers for the 2011 season. I immediate thought of McClellan as a comparable pitcher and was nonetheless a bit surprised by just how comparable to two righties are. The following graph contains Linebrink's -0.2-fWAR 2011 with McClellan's career numbers as a relief pitcher.

Stats

K-Mac as RP

Linebrink ‘11

K/9

6.82

6.96

BB/9

3.39

3.48

BABIP

.270

.317

LOB%

79.5%

81.8%

ERA

3.36

3.64

FIP

4.29

4.30

xFIP

4.11

4.18

The next graph shows McClellan's career numbers as a reliever and Linebrink's career numbers as a reliever.

Stats

K-Mac

Linebrink

K/9

6.82

7.98

BB/9

3.39

3.00

BABIP

.270

.291

LOB%

79.5%

78.2%

ERA

3.36

3.45

FIP

4.29

4.02

xFIP

4.11

4.02

With players like Linebrink available on minor-league deals, it makes one wonder why John Mozeliak inked McClellan to a big-league contract worth $2.5 million.