Playing with black armbands and heavy hearts, the Rangers roughed up All-Star left-hander Gio Gonzalez and beat the A’s 8-5 on Friday night.
The Rangers started this one in torrid fashion, going deep three times in the first and second innings off a pitcher who had surrendered just six homers in 109 innings for the season. Mike Napoli, Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler did the damage, as the Rangers scored seven runs between the two frames.
Gonzalez bounced back to throw two scoreless innings from there, but he was removed after four, making it his shortest outing of the season. Only three of the seven runs he gave up were earned.
Napoli ended up collecting two doubles to go along with his grand slam in the first.
Josh Hamilton, back in left field after the nightmare 24 hours earlier, finished the game with a single and a run scored in five at-bats.
C.J. Wilson picked up the win for Texas, though it wasn’t one of his better outings. He gave up four of Oakland’s runs while working seven innings. Closer Neftali Feliz allowed a single run in the ninth to make it 8-5.
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.