Yahoo!’s Tim Brown has a feature on Tim Lincecum, the central part of which is Lincecum’s diminishing velocity, which has gone from mid-90s in his rookie year to a consistent 93 mph in 2008 and down to 91-92 last season, at least according to pitching coach Dave Righetti:
“I’m aware my velocity wasn’t where it was,” he said. “I don’t feel
like it’s anything to be scared about. I’ll just learn how to pitch
Whether he’s pitching at 91, 94 or 98, he said, “I’m not sure it’s a
choice. You go out there with what you have. I’m still going out there
with the same kind of confidence.”
Of course over that time his strikeout rate, WHIP, ERA, K/BB ratio, and home run rate have improved so it’s not like anyone is worried.
The scariest thing about Tim Lincecum? He’s right about the age where Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez took a step forward and transformed from really good pitchers with awesome tools to otherwordly pitchers who had awesome tools and truly understood the game of pitching.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.