Drew Silva

Spring Training Daily

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ST Daily: Texas Freak

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


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Tim Lincecum was awful with the Angels in 2016, yielding 39 earned runs in nine starts covering 38 1/3 innings, and he didn’t pitch anywhere professionally in 2017. But the former back-to-back National League Cy Young Award winner put it in hours and hours of work this winter at the Driveline Baseball Research Lab in suburban Seattle and drew positive reviews at his open showcase for interested teams on February 15. Meet the newest member of the Texas Rangers.


Lincecum signed a one-year major league contract with Texas on Tuesday afternoon, as first relayed by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, and will report to Rangers camp in Surprise, Arizona sometime this week to take his physical and finalize the deal. He is expected to work as a reliever for what will be his third major league team and he might have picked the Rangers over some of the other clubs that wanted him because there is an opening at closer in Arlington.


Alex Claudio currently projects as the Rangers’ ninth-inning man, but he’s more of a groundball pitcher and holds an underwhelming 6.0 K/9 over the last two seasons. Keone Kela has a closer-like arsenal, but he logged just eight innings in the second half last year because of a shoulder injury that may or may not linger into 2018. Matt Bush, who earned 10 saves for the Rangers in 2017, is poised to move into the starting rotation this year if he can successfully stretch himself out in the Cactus League this spring.


If the reports are true about his resuscitated fastball velocity and improved overall sharpness, Lincecum can make a real run at becoming the primary saves man for the Rangers. It’s a story we’ll be tracking closely here at Rotoworld between now and the first day of the regular season. If you’d like updated and in-depth writeups on all of the bullpen situations around Major League Baseball, check out the 2018 Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.



Delayed Start To Season For deGrom?


Another day in Mets camp brought another significant medical concern.


New manager Mickey Callaway indicated to reporters on Tuesday that Jacob deGrom is unlikely to be built up enough to start on Opening Day against the Cardinals and could even miss the entire first week of the regular season because of a lower back injury. It doesn’t sound like a long-term concern and will hopefully turn into a forgotten early-spring note by mid-April or so, but the Mets have had brutal luck with injuries in recent years and this is certainly something to keep an eye on.


One of the more underappreciated aces in baseball -- probably because Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey have tended to steal the headlines in Queens -- deGrom boasts a 2.98 ERA over 107 career major league starts and registered the highest strikeout rate of his career in 2017 while also topping 200 innings for the first time. He carries the potential of a top-tier starter into the 2018 season, as long as this back issue doesn’t linger.


Syndergaard will presumably get the Opening Day nod for the Mets. He lit up the radar gun in his Grapefruit League debut on Monday, striking out two batters over a pair of hitless and walkless innings.



Judge Ready For Grapefruit League Play


On Wednesday, for the very first time, the Yankees’ starting lineup will feature 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge and 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton.


Judge has been cleared to make his Grapefruit League debut after spending the first couple weeks at Yankees camp in workout-only mode following November arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. Judge will serve as the Yankees’ designated hitter on Wednesday against the visiting Tigers and is expected to make two plate appearances. Stanton will play right field.


Those two both went top-20 in the latest mixed-league mock draft we conducted for the 2018 Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide. For full results and analysis of that draft, become a subscriber today.



Quick Hits: Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday that there's not a target date for Adam Eaton (knee) to begin playing in spring games, but he's still on track to be ready for Opening Day … Miguel Sano spoke to MLB investigators Tuesday about the sexual assault claim against him … Yoenis Cespedes (shoulder) expects to return to Grapefruit League action on Friday … Marcus Stroman (shoulder) hopes to resume throwing in 4-5 days … Yuli Gurriel has traveled to Houston to have his left hand examined … Cubs manager Joe Maddon announced Tuesday that Jon Lester will start on Opening Day … Shohei Ohtani will make his next spring training start in a B-game against the Brewers on Friday … Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday that Daniel Murphy (knee) is still going through his running progression … A’s third baseman Matt Chapman (hand) will likely resume hitting on Saturday … Rays top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday … Padres manager Andy Green indicated Tuesday that Eric Hosmer is likely to see most of his at-bats out of the No. 3 spot this season … Matt Carpenter said Tuesday that he is "not concerned at all" about his sore back … Sean Manaea was scratched from his Cactus League debut on Tuesday due to middle back tightness … Kevin Gausman passed his concussion test and is on track to make his next Grapefruit League start on Saturday … Indians signed veteran first baseman Mike Napoli to a minor league contract … Dustin Pedroia (knee) is expected to begin hitting on the field soon … Mitch Haniger (hand) has progressed to taking one-handed swings in the cage at Mariners camp … Brad Miller will be sidelined for a couple of days in Rays camp due to a broken right pinkie toe … Francisco Liriano will be sidelined for at least the next 4-5 days in Tigers camp after injuring his left hamstring during a defensive drill … An MRI confirmed the diagnosis of a left quad strain for Mets first base prospect Dominic Smith … White Sox third base prospect Jake Burger has been diagnosed with a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon and will miss the entire 2018 season … Ben Zobrist (back) could be ready to play in Cactus League games in a week … Matt Duffy was scratched from Tuesday's lineup due to back tightness …Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak will undergo an MRI on his left calf Wednesday …  Luiz Gohara (groin) is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday in Braves camp … Orioles outfield prospect Austin Hays will undergo an MRI for his sore lat muscle on Wednesday morning … Nationals reliever Koda Glover (shoulder) still hasn't started throwing.




Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Drew Silva



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