Giants perpare for possible playoff, move up Tim Lincecum

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Having Monday off gave the Giants a lot more flexibility in dealing with their rotation this week, and they announced Tuesday that they’re taking advantage of it by moving Tim Lincecum’s start from Thursday to Wednesday.
Lincecum was switched with Madison Bumgarner in case the Giants face a must-win 163rd game next Monday. Lincecum could then pitch that one on regular rest. San Francisco currently holds a one-game lead over San Diego in the NL West, and both teams could make the postseason if the Braves falter this week.
In one of his finest performances this season, Lincecum limited the Rockies to one run and two hits over eight innings at Coors Field to win Friday. He’s allowed a total of eight runs in his last five starts, lowering his ERA from 3.80 to 3.51.
The Giants play three games with the Diamondbacks this week before finishing their schedule with a home series against the Padres. Barry Zito, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez are scheduled to pitch in the final series.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.