I just got a press release from Major League Baseball announcing that Phiten is now “The Official Compression Sleeve of Major League Baseball.”
You have heard of Phiten, of course. They make those ugly necklaces that provide no scientifically or medically proven benefits whatsoever, despite the fact that Phiten touts them for their ability to “promote stable energy flow throughout the body” and to provide “longer lasting energy, less fatigue, shortened recovery time and more relaxed muscles.” Indeed, Major League Baseball — whose players are given free Phiten necklaces for obvious promotional purposes — refers to them in the press release as “the innovator and original maker of precious metal-infused wellness products.”
The compression sleeve is something else. You’ve seen it: a spandexy-looking sleeve worn usually on one arm. They too are infused with Phiten’s “Aqua-Titanium technology,” and are supposed to “keep arm muscles warm and loose as well as to absorb moisture.” Which sort of sounds like a sleeve to me. Or a sweat band. Except those things don’t sell for $19.
Hey, not my money. If an athlete — or a wannabe — thinks that a compression sleeve helps them, good for them. If they think it makes them look badass, well, even better for them. But, gosh, I sure hope no one things it’s gonna help them hit a baseball or anything.
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.