An unidentified Mets player told Mike Puma of the New York Post that there is a prevailing feeling in the Mets’ clubhouse
that Jose Reyes is being “babied” because the team fears a public relations disaster if he hurts his hamstring again. The player said, in response to the team hemming and hawing about letting Reyes start the season in New York, that “It’s kind of silly. You play the game. You can get
hurt as easily playing [a minor league exhibition] as playing on Opening
I see the player’s point, but it’s not like the Mets can’t limit Reyes in a rehab setting in ways they can’t necessarily limit him in the bigs. He could stay in Florida for extended spring training during which he’d focus more on conditioning and running. He could, as Puma noted he did yesterday in his return to game action, be instructed not to do things like leg out doubles. He could avoid any chilly weather that might make it harder to get loose and stuff. There are potential advantages.
Ultimately this seems more like a communication and trust problem than a Reyes health problem. If the unnamed player is right and there is a strong feeling in the clubhouse that the Mets aren’t handling Reyes properly, it’s either because the team isn’t being straight with the players about it all or because the players simply don’t trust the team’s handling of injuries and rehab.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.