Incredibly, it took 30 days after Jered Weaver won his sixth gave for a major league pitcher to pick up his seventh win this season. And the guy who did it was winless through three starts.
Jon Lester cruised through six scoreless innings in Boston’14-2 rout of the Indians on Wednesday to become the first pitcher to win seven games this year.
It definitely is oddly late in the season for the league leader to just be getting his seventh win. Ubaldo Jimenez already had eight wins by this time last year. In 2009, Roy Halladay had eight by May 25. In 2008, Brandon Webb had nine on this date and both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Joe Saunders had eight.
Weaver, who moved to 6-0 on April 25, seemed poised to have at least eight or nine already, but he’s gone 0-4 in his last five starts. Trevor Cahill and Max Scherzer both already had two chances to win their seventh games but came up short (or, actually, their offenses did).
Lester has gone 7-0 in his last eight starts since opening the season 0-1 in three outings.
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.