Thanks to the All-Star break Tim Lincecum got nine days off after throwing a staggering 148 pitches in his no-hitter against the Padres, but his follow-up start was still a mess last night.
Lincecum failed to make it out of the fourth inning against the Reds, allowing a career-high eight earned runs on nine hits, including a career-high three homers. In the span of 78 pitches his ERA rose from 4.26 to 4.71.
However, afterward Lincecum insisted that the 148-pitch start took “no toll” on him physically, saying: “I felt just as normal as I have in recent starts.”
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com notes that Lincecum threw a between-starts bullpen session during the long layoff, but last night his fastball “fastball barely grazed 90 mph” and “the changeups turned to blobs.”
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.