Tim Lincecum expects to start Game 1 despite relief appearance

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Just in case there was any doubt whatsoever, Tim Lincecum told Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com that he expects to start Game 1 of the World Series against the Rangers on Wednesday, despite facing three batters on Saturday night.

“I fully expect to make the start,” Lincecum said. “It’s not like they told me to get ready for Game 1. They just said, ‘Get ready for your next start.’ So I think that’s what they’re talking about, yeah.”

Going for the jugular, Bruce Bochy called on Lincecum to start the eighth inning. He struck out Jayson Werth to begin the frame, but then allowed back-to-back singles by Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez before Brian Wilson came on for a five-out save. It was Lincecum’s regular bullpen day after his Game 5 start on Thursday. As opposed to Roy Oswalt, who pitched in relief in Game 4, Lincecum skipped his throwing session.

And so, we’ll almost certainly have Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee going head-to-head in Game 1 on Wednesday. Granted, it doesn’t have the allure of Lee vs. Halladay, but it’s still pretty darn good.

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.