Mark Melancon was the choice to take over in the bottom of the ninth after the Red Sox scored twice in the top of the inning to tie up today’s game against the Tigers. He went on to get one out and then give up two singles, after which he was pulled in favor of Alfredo Aceves. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t too happy about it. Somewhat surprisingly, he didn’t manage to cover that up in the postgame interview, though he did recover quickly.
Asked whether the hook came quick, Melancon responded:
Yeah, it did. It felt a little quick. But that’s not my job. My job is to get outs and I didn’t do that. I’m not going to think any more about that. I’m just going to continue to try to get outs and get after it.
Melancon spent most of last season as a closer, and he was used to getting opportunities to bail himself out of his own jams in Houston. Valentine didn’t show that same kind of faith in him today, turning to Aceves at the first opportunity. It didn’t work out, either, as Aceves went on to hit a batter and give up a game-ending single, tagging Melancon with the loss.
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.