Tim Lincecum finishes spring training with 10.57 ERA

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Whatever strides Tim Lincecum made in the playoffs haven’t carried over, as the two-time Cy Young winner followed up a terrible 2012 season by posting a 10.57 ERA in five spring training starts.

Lincecum had 16 strikeouts in 15 innings, but allowed 22 hits and eight walks on the way to 18 runs. That includes five runs in 4.2 innings yesterday, after which Lincecum told Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News: “I feel like my stuff is there. I definitely have confidence in all of it.”

Brown reports that Lincecum’s fastball topped out at 92 miles per hour yesterday, which is comparable to last season when he averaged 90.4 mph.  Back in 2007 and 2008 he averaged 94.1 mph and as recently as 2011 he averaged 92.3.

Marlins option Tom Koehler to Triple-A, recall Hunter Cervenka

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Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.

Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.

Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.

Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are interested in Pat Neshek

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At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.

Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.