As we noted last week, Tim Lincecum will hold a showcase this Thursday, auditioning for major league clubs in his efforts to make a comeback. By all indications, his showcase should be pretty well-attended.
His old team, the Giants, were the first to announce that they’d be there. Since then reports have trickled in that the Tigers, Twins, Orioles, Rangers, Phillies, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Brewers, Padres and Braves will all have scouts in attendance. The only team which has been affirmatively reported to not be sending a scout is the Mets. One could slam the Mets for this, but based on a lot of what’s been reported about Lincecum over the years, if he has a chance to pick his destination, it’ll be a west coast team, so I can see the Mets not bothering.
Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with the San Francisco Giants, has been working out with Driveline Baseball this offseason in an effort to make a comeback. As we noted in December, when photos of him at Driveline surfaced, Lincecum looks to be in pretty amazing physical shape. Still, it’s an open question whether or not he can pitch in the bigs again. He hasn’t pitched since 2016 and even then he didn’t pitch well, going 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38.1 innings with the Angels.
At the same time, he’s only 33 and he’ll obviously be open to a minor league deal with eye toward making a team in spring training, so it’ll cost teams almost nothing — at most the cost of a plane ticket and a Courtyard Marriott hotel room for a scout — to give him a chance. Why not take it?
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.