I wish I didn’t know so many cool Cardinals fans, because it would be nice to gloat about Tony “master of the bullpen” La Russa having to suffer through bullpen implosions on consecutive nights. But I do know a lot of cool Cardinals fans, and that takes all the damn fun out of it.
Last night’s loss ended when Chris Iannetta hit a leadoff, walkoff homer in the ninth, but the roots of this loss were in the earlier innings and, in all likelihood, Tuesday night’s game. Earlier innings in which La Russa had to burn through multiple relievers, leaving him with Evan MacLane — who had just been called up — to handle the ninth. Mitchell Boggs, Trever Miller and Jason Motte were either gassed or just didn’t have it or both before MacLane came in, and because of it the Cards frittered away a five-run lead for the second time in as many nights.
The killer in all of this is that these losses have served to waste big offensive nights for St. Louis after they they had struggled to score runs for so damn long. Indeed, the Cardinals scored more than seven
runs both nights — the first time they’d done that since the end of May — but it was all for naught.
But I guess it could be worse for Cardinals fans. They could be Knicks fans.
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.