Little fanfare surrounded Mackowiak, 31, as he progressed through the minor leagues, but such is life for 53rd-round picks. Regardless of his draft pedigree–the Pirates took him in 1996 from South Suburban (Ill.) JC–he’s carved out a career as a part-timer of indeterminate position. Mackowiak has spent the majority of his time in right field, followed by third base, center field, left field and second base. Mackowiak’s performance this season (.278/.354/.418 with six homers in 237 at-bats) is in line with his career norms.
Link, a 26th-round pick from Bluefield (Va.) College in 2005, went 2-1, 3.07 for high Class A Lake Elsinore with 13 saves in 15 opportunities. The 23-year-old Link had compiled 45 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41 innings, and his fastball had been clocked in the 90-94 mph range.
Mackowiak could see substantial time at third base, in support of righthanded-hitting rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff, and in left field, where the Padres have gotten substandard production from Jose Cruz. The recent additions of third baseman Morgan Ensberg and left fielder Scott Hairston, both righthanded batters, make it hard to project playing time, however.