DURHAM, NC-Former Major League Pitcher Jon Link (pictured) is headed back to affiliated baseball. The Wichita Wingnuts righty, who pitched in nine games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010, has had his contract purchased by the Miami Marlins. The Marlins will assign him to the Class AA Jacksonville Suns, who are in the midst of a road series at the Tennessee Smokies.
Link was an impressive 11-2 with the Wingnuts this season, carrying an ERA of 3.26 as he helped the Wingnuts to a Southern Division title. He struck out 100 and walked only 33 in 127 innings pitched. The Wake Forest, North Carolina resident was the American Association Pitcher of the Week for the week ending July 6. That week, he earned wins over the Amarillo Sox and Sioux City Explorers, with the Sioux City win containing seven shutout innings. Link also tossed seven scoreless frames on August 17 against the Grand Prairie AirHogs, striking out an incredible 16 hitters. He also reached double digits in strikeouts on May 20, when he fanned 10 Kansas City T-Bones. Link also played for Wichita in 2013, going 6-1 with a 1.74 ERA in seven starts.
Drafted out of Bluefield (W. Va.) College in the 26th round by the San Diego Padres in 2005, Link debuted that season with the Short Season Class A Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League. He went 3-3 with 44 strikeouts with Eugene, and followed that up with a 5-5 season while striking out 57 for the Class A Fort Wayne Wizards in 2006. Link split the 2007 between the Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres’ Class A Advanced Affiliate in the California League, and the Winston-Salem Warthogs, the Chicago White Sox Class A Advanced affiliate. He was traded on July 31, the trade deadline day, of that season. Link was 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 55 games that year, all coming in relief. He saved a combined 16 games while striking out 64 in 58 and 2/3 innings. Link spent 2008 with the Class AA Birmingham Barons of the Southern League, and saved 35 games with a 3.02 ERA. In 2009 he moved up to the Class AAA Charlotte Knights, where he had 13 saves in 48 appearances and a 3.99 ERA.
Link got the call to the big leagues in April of 2010, and appeared in nine games. He struck out four in eight and 2/3 innings. He spent much of 2010 and 2011 at Class AAA Albuquerque before moving on for 2012. Link played with the Miami Marlins’ and Baltimore Orioles’ AAA affiliates that year, and also had a stint at AA Jacksonville. In addition to Wichita in 2013, Link played with the Detroit Tigers’ Class AAA team, the Toledo MudHens, and AA affiliate, the Erie SeaWolves.