Pitching porn tonight: Lincecum vs. Kershaw

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I’m probably going to be a bit drowsy tomorrow, because there’s a great pitching matchup tonight in Los Angeles: Tim Lincecum vs. Clayton Kershaw. When you’re a junkie like me you just can’t miss that kind of thing.

Lots of interesting stuff swirling around this one. The last start from each of these aces for one thing. Each had seven days rest, but Lincecum is the only one who looked it: he shut out the Mets in his best performance of the year. In contrast, Kershaw got slammed around by the Cardinals.  Another, and certainly more important angle to all of this is whether Kershaw can put his stopper pants on and arrest the Dodgers’ current slide which has them down to fourth place in the four-team race for the NL West crown.

Of course, every time I preview some great pitching matchup like this one guy ends up getting shelled and the other guy throws 104 pitches in five innings and the next hour and a half consists of increasingly anonymous relief pitchers.

But a boy can dream, can’t he?

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.