Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera continues to do rude things to baseballs and some of baseball’s greats.
Cabrera stuck Yankees closer Mariano Rivera with a blown save on Friday night when he launched a game-tying 427-foot home run to deep center field. He then homered off Mo again on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium as the Tigers marched back to tie the game at 4-4 with a two-run top of the ninth. Victor Martinez also homered off Mo in that frame.
Detroit wound up losing Friday’s game 4-3 in the 10th inning and fell 5-4 Sunday in the bottom of the ninth, but the story here is Cabrera’s monstrous outpout and Rivera’s sudden struggles.
With that homer Sunday, Cabrera joined Edgar Martinez and Evan Longoria as the only other right-handed hitters with two career home runs off Rivera. No player has homered three times off Mo.
Cabrera, 30, is now batting .365/.459/.686 with 36 homers and 101 RBI in 108 games this season.
Rivera, meanwhile, has been knocked around in three straight appearances and has three consecutive blown saves to show for it. Brett Gardner rescued the Yankees on Sunday with a walkoff home run.
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.