Aaron Gleeman

Tim Lincecum shuts down Dodgers, lowers ERA to 2.08


After three straight rough seasons in which he went 32-38 with a 4.76 ERA, two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is shutting lineups down again.

Wednesday night Lincecum threw seven scoreless, three-hit innings against the Dodgers, allowing zero runs for the third time in his last four starts and lowering his ERA on the season to 2.08.

Lincecum’s average fastball is down to 87 miles per hour and his secondary numbers are nowhere near as great as they used to be, including just 36 strikeouts in 48 innings and the second-worst walk rate of his career at 4.0 per nine frames.

So yes, his current success is due at least somewhat (and perhaps a lot) to smoke and mirrors, but whatever the case it’s fun to see (unless you’re a Dodgers fan) for however long it lasts. Or as the 30-year-old right-hander told Chris Haft of MLB.com:

I relied on stuff back in the day and now I’m trying to pitch my way through games. The evolution of the last few years has been pretty rocky, so I’m taking what I’ve got going right now as a definite plus.

For the first time in his career Lincecum is inducing more than 50 percent ground balls and he’s allowed just one home run in 193 plate appearances. Getting a bunch of grounders and keeping the ball in the ballpark can cancel out a lot of otherwise negative stuff.

Whether or not he can keep that up, it’s good to see The Freak back. Baseball missed him.

Rockies demote $5.8 million outfielder Drew Stubbs to Triple-A


Drew Stubbs is making $5.8 million this season and hasn’t played in the minors regularly since 2009, but the Rockies have demoted the 30-year-old outfielder to Triple-A.

Stubbs had a nice season in a significant role for the Rockies in 2014, hitting .289 with 15 homers and an .821 OPS after three straight seasons with an OPS below .700. However, he’s been a mess this year while hitting .118 with 31 strikeouts in 56 plate appearances.

To replace Stubbs on the roster Colorado called up 29-year-old outfielder Brandon Barnes, who appeared in 132 games for the Rockies last season while hitting .257 with eight homers and a .718 OPS.

Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu to have season-ending shoulder surgery


Hyun-Jin Ryu hasn’t thrown a pitch this season after being shut down with shoulder soreness late in spring training and the Dodgers just announced that the left-hander will undergo season-ending surgery.

Ryu has been one of the league’s most underrated starters since signing with the Dodgers in 2013, throwing 344 innings with a 3.17 ERA and 293/78 K/BB ratio.

However, he was limited to 26 starts last season due to shoulder problems on two different occasions. He’ll hope to make a full recovery in time for Opening Day and the 28-year-old Ryu is signed through 2018.

He joins Brandon McCarthy on the sidelines for the remainder of the season, leaving the Dodgers’ short on rotation depth behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.