For the third consecutive season, Tim Lincecum has an ERA of 4.37 or higher, not exactly the performance the Giants envisioned when they signed the right-hander to a two-year, $35 million deal in October 2013.
Lincecum has struggled particularly lately, posting a 9.49 ERA with a 22/15 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings over his last six starts. He has made it into the fifth inning in only two of those six starts.
As a result, the Giants could take Lincecum out of the starting rotation and move Yusmeiro Petit back in, MLB.com’s Chris Haft reports. Manager Bruce Bochy has spoken with GM Brian Sabean and pitching coach Dave Righetti, but he has not yet spoken to Lincecum about the situation.
Petit has been serving out of the bullpen and has pitched very well — he’s been perfect, in fact. The right-hander has retired all 37 batters he has faced dating back to July 26, striking out 16 in the process.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.