Jaime Garcia was pulled from his Game 2 start after just two innings and the Cardinals have decided to remove him from the playoff roster after the left-hander complained of shoulder problems.
And that’s where it starts to get interesting, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Garcia was apparently pitching at less than full strength, but didn’t tell anyone that until after his poor start against the Nationals. General manager John Mozeliak called the team’s lack of knowledge about Garcia’s issue “frustrating” and it sounds like that’s an understatement.
Strauss reports that “several teammates were incensed to learn that Garcia started such a monumental game if indeed compromised physically.” On the other hand, Strauss also writes that “a faction within the organization has remained skeptical about the severity of Garcia’s condition.”
Which, when taken together, paints a very odd picture. Garcia’s teammates are angry he pitched hurt and Garcia’s team doesn’t believe he was all that hurt? Doesn’t that seem like it has to be one or the other, at the very least?
Garcia, who missed two months earlier this season with a shoulder injury, underwent an MRI exam yesterday. If he’s indeed removed from the NLDS roster he’ll be ineligible to rejoin the roster until the World Series.
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.