Tim Lincecum left Friday’s start against the Angels after four innings and 84 pitches because of a cut on the middle finger on his right hand, reports Chris Haft of MLB.com.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that there “a little concern” that Lincecum will not be able to make his next scheduled start, however he’s done with the Cactus League schedule.
Lincecum was already slated to pitch in a minor league game next Wednesday, a strategic decision by the team, as they do not want the Dodgers — the big league team’s scheduled opponent for that day — to get another look at him before the season begins.
Lincecum didn’t even mention the cut to reporters after the game, but told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that his body was at about “85 percent” ready for the new season. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner has a 6.94 ERA and a 16/10 K/BB ratio in 11 2/3 innings this spring. He’s expected to pitch on Opening Day against the Astros in Houston.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.
The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.
Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.
As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.