Coming off a disappointing '07 season himself in which he posted a 3.71 ERA over 71 combined games for the Padres and the Brewers, Linebrink said he's eager to turn things around with his new team. In what Williams described as a "blip" in Linebrink's career, the pitcher said his struggles last season weren't a result of anything mechanical or injury-related. Rather it was some off the field issues that caused Linebrink to lose focus for a period of time.Linebrink's wife, Kelly, was due to give birth to their first child shortly after he was traded from San Diego to Milwaukee in late July. The combination of being away from his family and adjusting to a new team was something Linebrink felt led to his struggles. "If you look back and break down last season, there was about a four-week period there where I really slumped," Linebrink said. "And it was right around the time that everything was happening. But if you look at the numbers toward the end of August and September, I rebounded and came back to finish strong." Getting a chance to have a better season is one thing that Linebrink is enthusiastic about, and the other is coming to a team he believes is headed in the right direction. "Chicago looked like [it] had a lot more pieces put in place for a winning season," Linebrink said. "I've heard a lot of good things about this clubhouse and I'm looking forward to being a part of it."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.