The Braves announced their NLDS roster a few minutes ago. You can see it here. There aren’t many surprises.
Takashi Saito is off because his shoulder is still wonky. His replacement — Craig Kimbrel — has been pretty fantastic anyway. Jair Jurrjens is off due to his knee. There are still expectations that he would be able to pitch in the NLCS if the Braves make it that far, but at that point rust, rather than health, may be his biggest concern. I think the Braves are on a three-man rotation for the duration, with Brandon Beachy stepping in if things get out of hand.
The biggest takeaway: oh so many rookies. We’ve known that they have a lot just by watching them, but the youth of this team is really made clear when the names are all listed like that: Jason Heyward, Brooks Conrad, Craig Kimbrel, Cristhian Martinez, Brandon Beachy, Jonny Venters and Mike Dunn.
It’s also, once again, made clear how many tomato cans the Braves are relying on too: Kyle Farnsworth, Rick Ankiel, Nate McLouth and Melky Cabrera, most notable among them. Really: the Giants left Jose Guillen off their roster. There’s an argument that he’d be the second best outfielder on the Braves’ roster.
But, that’s why they play the games . . .
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.