He has played coy to date, but Tim Lincecum is now letting it be known that he’d like to do a long term deal with the Giants:
“I definitely like San Francisco. I’ve seen nothing but positive things as far as my personal experiences. It’s where I see myself being for awhile.”
And according to his agent, the ball is clearly in the Giants’ court: “We’ve let it play out this year. I think it’ll be up to the Giants as to what they want to do and how they approach the offseason. It’ll really be a function of how the Giants look at him.”
Yet another reason for the Giants not to spend their offseason time messing around with and devoting money to Bengie Molina. If they sign Lincecum, install Buster Posey behind the plate and do whatever they can to upgrade the offense even a little bit, San Francisco would have to be considered a favorite in the 2010 NL West.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.