Sean Doolittle has been mostly untouchable this season, but he has suddenly blown back-to-back save chances for the Athletics. And this latest one resulted in a dramatic victory for the Tigers.
Doolittle was handed a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning tonight, but he gave up back-to-back singles to get into some quick trouble. He bounced back to strike out Eugenio Suarez swinging, but then walked Austin Jackson to load the bases. This is notable, as Doolittle had walked just one batter in 39 innings this season coming into Monday’s action.
That rare walk from Doolittle came back to bite the Athletics in a big way, as Davis followed with a walk-off grand slam to give the Tigers a 5-4 victory. Check out the video below:
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Davis and Alan Trammell (1988) are the only players in Tigers history to hit a walk-off grand slam while trailing by three runs. Appropriately enough, Trammell was on hand for tonight’s game, as the Tigers were honoring the 30th anniversary of the 1984 World Series champions.
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.