Josh Beckett’s critics will have to stand down for a few days: the occasional golfer and devourer of fried chicken blanked the Mariners for seven innings and struck out nine in Boston’s 5-0 victory Tuesday.
It was actually Beckett’s fifth quality start in seven tries this season. His other two outings were pretty spectacularly bad (he gave up five homers to the Tigers in his season debut and seven runs in 2 1/3 innings to the Indians last week), but he’s been good more often than not despite dealing with diminished velocity.
Beckett allowed just four hits in this one, though the Mariners did make a couple of bids for homers. Justin Smoak hit a drive over the wall in right in the second inning that appeared to be foul, though replay was inconclusive. The umpires ruled it foul and then went to the replay before standing by the call. In the sixth, Kyle Seager hit a ball to deep right with two men on. It would have been a homer in a few parks, but in Fenway, it was just a long out.
Beckett is now 3-4 with a 4.97 ERA this season. The Red Sox have won five in a row to improve to 17-19.
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.