Tim Lincecum threw 104 pitches in last night’s loss to the Phillies, but manager Bruce Bochy said afterward that the reigning back-to-back Cy Young winner could be available out of the bullpen in Game 6 or Game 7 of the NLCS:
I wouldn’t say he’s finished for the series. If needed, it’s one of these series that all hands are on deck and you have them all ready. He’ll have a couple of days off and he’ll be ready to go.
Lincecum said the same about his availability, noting that Saturday will be his normal “bullpen day” and he could skip that with an eye toward throwing an inning or two in Game 6. Roy Halladay presumably wouldn’t be available to do the same because of his groin injury.
In four seasons Lincecum has made just one career appearance as a reliever and that came on April 2, 2008 when the Giants avoided starting him because of a likely rain delay.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.