Rafael Furcal wrapped up his minor league rehab assignment last night with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and is slated to rejoin the Dodgers as soon as tomorrow. There’s nothing official yet, but Matt Stevens of the Los Angeles Times writes that all signs point to rookie shortstop Dee Gordon being sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque.
“We’ll make that decision on Sunday,” Mattingly said about what Furcal’s return could mean for Gordon. “It is a decision we will make when we have to make it. [General Manager] Ned [Colletti] and I haven’t really even talked about it at this point.”
Furcal has been on the disabled list since the first week of June with an oblique injury. The Dodgers briefly discussed moving him to second base to keep Gordon on the major league roster, but Mattingly said last night that the idea has been shelved “for now.” Things could change if Furcal is eventually traded or more likely, if he suffers another injury. The 33-year-old shortstop has already been on the disabled list twice this season.
Gordon, 23, is batting .241/.259/.291 with a 16/2 K/BB ratio over his first 82 major league plate appearances. While he has struggled at the plate, he is 8-for-10 in stolen base attempts. He was credited with two stolen bases in the seventh inning last night against the Angels, including a theft of home plate.
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.