At 31-years-old, former San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum is now a few years removed from being one of the top pitchers in the entire MLB. While Lincecum is a shell of his former dominant self, the latest reports are saying that he is going to soon have a showcase in front of up to 20 teams. In need of pitching help, the New York Yankees are expected to do their due diligence on Lincecum, and there is a chance that they could sign him.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Yankees have been linked to Lincecum numerous times over the past few months. Originally expected to hold a showcase in February, Lincecum has put it off numerous times. While there is no word on why the showcase keeps getting pushed back, Lincecum is apparently close to finally throwing in front of teams, one of which is expected to be the Yankees.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reports that his fastball is averaging 90-91 mph.
lincecum consistently 90-91 in dust storm monday, via observer. likely to throw this weekend, w/ showcase possible next wk— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 29, 2016
lincecum is still using giants fields in arizona. his old team is interested, but showcase likely to draw 20 teams.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 29, 2016
Since Lincecum is using the Giants’ fields, they have to be viewed as the leading candidate for his services. Regardless, they have had every opportunity to sign Lincecum over the past few months, and the Yankees are very much in the mix. While a 91-mph fastball is not exactly dominating, it is an improvement over the speed that he was hitting last season. As MLB reports, Lincecum’s velocity was significantly down last year.
“Lincecum threw a mixture of five pitches against the Mets – a two-seam fastball, four-seamer, changeup, curve and slider — a very nice array. But of the 102 pitches he tossed to 22 batters in 4 2/3 innings, only three of them touched 90 miles per hour. By the time he began to wilt during the fifth inning, he couldn’t throw a pitch harder than 86 mph and eight of his final 24 were in the 70s. Imagine that. Let that sink in –the 70s.”
For a pitcher that regularly had a fastball velocity of 95 mph in his prime, Lincecum is going to have to take a different approach if he has any hopes of continuing his career in MLB. A 91-mph fastball from a right-handed pitcher is not going to overpower anyone, but he can be successful with it. Changing speeds and pinpoint location can allow him to consistently get batters out. While his regular double-digit strikeout games are probably a thing of the past, he can transform himself into a pitcher that throws to contact.
With a record of 8-13, the New York Yankees are struggling. While the season is not over, it is going to be difficult for them to compete in the very competitive AL East this year. CC Sabathia’s best days are behind him, Michael Pineda is struggling, and the rest of the rotation, besides Tanaka, is not exactly instilling confidence in Yankees’ fans. While Lincecum may not be any better than Sabathia or Pineda, he is still worth a look. Besides having had success in the playoffs, Lincecum would also be a positive presence in the clubhouse for the younger pitchers.
As NJ Advance Media reports, Lincecum prefers to be a starter for his new team. Since no starting positions may be available to him, he is still likely to start out with a role in the bullpen.
“Lincecum is only 31 years old. He’s logged over 1,600 regular season innings but arm trouble has never been an issue and as long as that keeps, he potentially has several years ahead of him, even if it’s in relief. (He pitched out of the bullpen in spurts during several postseason runs, though he prefers to be a starter.)”
While Lincecum is apparently looking healthy, it is all going to come down to his showcase. Even though the official date has not been announced, it is likely to come within the next few weeks. If Lincecum can continue to average over 90 mph on his fastball, there is a very real chance that he is at least given a minor-league contract. Whether or not that is with the New York Yankees remains to be seen, but rumors will likely continue to link them with former San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum.
[Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]