This is a minor item to be sure, but my electricity has been out for an hour and it’s in the mid 80s, so I’m gettin’ cranky and could use some damn optimistic news, OK? OK:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia says he’s past the yips that caused him to be unable to throw the ball back to the pitcher’s mound:
“It’s been night and day,” said Saltalamacchia. “Just from a throwing
aspect, I’ve come a long way. My confidence has gone up a lot. I’m just
ready to get back up there and perform.”
The Rangers could use him behind the plate and in the batter’s box right now, but the sense is that the team doesn’t want to rush him.
Good idea. I mean, how many times did Harvey Dent tell Gotham City that he was all better only to quickly relapse and go on a city-wide spree of murder and mayhem? I don’t think Texas wants to take that chance with Salty, if for no other reason than “having your legs broken by the Batman” usually isn’t covered by team insurance policies.
In other news, if my power is not back on soon I’m going to go crazy from the heat and turn this blog into all Batman content, all the time.
Wait, I might do that anyway.
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.