Lincecum lifted after being struck with a line drive

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Giants starter Tim Lincecum was hit in the back of the right shoulder by a line drive on Wednesday afternoon and was removed from his start against the Orioles.

He crouched in pain after the initial blow, but eventually stood up and headed to the clubhouse under his own power.  Lincecum fanned 10 batters and improved to 7-2 on the season, but he allowed eight hits to a bad Orioles team while also walking four.  The good news is his bruised shoulder shouldn’t affect his status moving forward.

“Timmy is fine,”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “There were no problems there. He
worked hard and those guys made him work. It was a gutty effort. He has
that ability to turn it up a notch when its needed. He had some big
strikeouts.”

Lincecum, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, has looked shaky in some recent starts and his 3.11 ERA and 1.22 WHIP would be three-year highs if it all ended today.  Of course, the season doesn’t end today, and Lincecum’s 106 strikeouts lead all major league pitchers.  We’re thinking that Timmy is going to be just fine.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.