Corey Hart has had multiple setbacks in his recovery from January knee surgery and six months later the Brewers first baseman still isn’t close to returning, leaving him understandably frustrated.
Here’s what he said to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who described Hart as “dejected”:
Our timetable was off, so now we’re taking it day by day. They definitely overshot and it gave me optimism and hope. At the same time, it wasn’t realistic. So, I’m just trying to grind it out and see what happens. It’s definitely gotten better, but their timetable just never happened. They would say one thing and it never happened. I can do everything; I just can’t do everything as good as I need to. I don’t have the strength in it I need.
According to Haudricourt “at this point, it’s not completely out of the question that he will miss the entire season.”
That’s quite a change from the initial timetable that had him returning in May and in Hart’s extended absence the Brewers have gotten by far the worst production in baseball from their first basemen, who’ve combined to hit .180 with five homers and a .506 OPS in 74 games.
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.