Giants to keep Tim Lincecum in rotation after latest loss

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Many thought Tim Lincecum was one more bad start away from either having his turn skipped or receiving a temporary demotion to the bullpen. Lincecum, though, has escaped that fate after giving up five runs and two homers in a loss to the Mariners on Saturday.

Manager Bruce Bochy said today that Lincecum will make his start Friday against the A’s.

The Giants have lost nine straight games started by Lincecum, who is now 2-8 with a 6.19 ERA for the season. Lincecum’s last win came on April 28 against the Padres. He’s allowed at least four runs in 10 of his 14 starts.

Lincecum showed better velocity last night, which is perhaps one reason the Giants have chosen to hold off on making any changes.

“He’s healthy. He feels good,” Bochy told CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly. “I know the results haven’t been great for Timmy, but you just see too many good signs. Even after the first inning (Saturday), he had bad luck there.

“At this point we think the best thing is to let him fight through this. If we felt different, we’d do it.”

They probably will feel different if Lincecum can’t pitch his way past the light-hitting A’s next weekend.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays in part of three-team deal

Tampa Bay Rays
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Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.