Yfrain Jose Linares Farfan
also listed as Ifrain and Efrain
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 180 lb.
Yfrain Linares pitched in the minors in three different decades. He later was a scout.
1988-1993: Reds chain and Magallantes
Linares debuted in 1988 with the GCL Reds, going 1-5 with a hefty 6.68 ERA. He walked 19 in 33 2/3 innings. With the same club in '89, the 19-year-old improved to 3-5, 3.63. It would be six years until he would pitch in the minors again. He remained active outside the US, though. In 1989-1990, he was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA for the Navegantes del Magallanes. He did not pitch for that club in the winter of 1990-1991 then had a 5.60 ERA in 7 outings in 1991-1992. In 1992-1993, he allowed only 3 earned runs in 21 innings for Magallanes.
1993-1995: Italy and Magallantes
He went to Italy in the summer of '93 to pitch for Verona, then in the Italian minors. He excelled, striking out 210 in 139 1/3 innings. He walked 76 but allowed only 72 hits. He was 10-6 with a 2.07 ERA. With the 1993-1994 Navegantes, he had a 1-1, 3.35 record and one save as a regularly-used reliever. The club won its first Venezuelan League title in 15 years, making it to the 1994 Caribbean Series.
In 1994, Verona moved to Italy's top level and Linares was less effective against the higher competition as his 5-8, 4.39 record attests. He still struck out 129 in 121 innings but walked 84 and allowed 110 hits. He tied Joel Lono for fourth in Serie A1 in strikeouts but was second in walks. In 1994-1995, he was 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA for Magallanes but with 25 walks in 43 innings.
1995-1998: Brewers chain, Mexico, Italy again and Pastora
The Milwaukee Brewers signed Linares for the 1995 season and he returned to the US for the first time since 1989. He bounced between the Beloit Snappers (3-3, 4.29), Stockton Ports (2-0, 1.17 in 7 G) and El Paso Diablos (1-1, 9.45 in 8 G, 21 H in 13 1/3 IP). Overall, he struck out 89 but walked 71 in 107 2/3 innings. The right-hander moved to Pastora de Occidente for the winter of 1995-1996 and had a strong campaign at 5-2, 1.46 in 18 relief appearances, allowing just 25 hits in 37 innings. He had the second-best ERA on the staff. In the summer of '96, he pitched for the Mexican League's Langosteros de Quintana Roo, going 2-2 with two saves and a 3.49 ERA, walking 21 in 28 1/3 innings. He was less effective his second winter with Occidente at 1-2, 4.15 with 19 walks in 21 2/3 innings pitched, control continuing to be his downfall.
Returning to Italy in 1997, he went 6-6 with a 3.92 ERA for Torino, walking 71 and fanning 116 in 119 1/3 innings. He was 5th in both walks and strikeouts. Pastora de Occidente became Pastora de Los Llanos in 1997-1998 and the veteran turned in a good season (3-0, 1.80).
1998-2002: Zulia, Lara, Mexico again and the independent leagues
Linares pitched for the Aguilas del Zulia in 1998-1999, with a 0-1, 3.65 line and 11 walks in 12 1/3 IP. He split the summer between Mexico's Rieleros de Aguascalientes (1-5, 5.40, 43 BB in 41 2/3 IP) and the independent league Rio Grande Valley White Wings (3-3, 6.48). It was just his 4th US summer in 12 years as a pro to that point. With the 1999-2000 Cardenales de Lara, Yfrain went 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 30 outings, striking out 45 in 42 1/3 innings. He led the club in games pitched, four ahead of Giovanni Carrara.
In the summer of 2000, the San Carlos native was with the Pericos de Puebla (an atrocious 37.80 ERA in four games, with 6 hits, 5 walks and 8 runs in 1 2/3 IP) and Rio Grande Valley (a much better 14-5, 2.59). He then shut out the Amarillo Dillas in game 3 of the finals as the White Wings went on to win, 3 games to 1. He led the Texas-Louisiana League in ERA, was second to former big league Mike Smith in strikeouts and tied for 4th in wins. He was named the league's Pitcher of the Year.
Linares was 4-1 with a save and a 4.22 ERA for Lara in 2000-2001. Back with the White Wings in '01, he faded to 4-7, 3.60 though he did strike out 83 (and walk 51) in 80 innings. In his last winter in Venezuela, he was 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 22 games for the Cardenales with 26 hits to 36 K in 34 1/3 innings. He ended his professional pitching career with the 2002 Berkshire Black Bears, struggling at 0-2, 11.37 in two starts.