Searching for an opportunity with a major league team, former two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum reportedly looked sharp as he pitched in front of scouts on Friday.
Lincecum, 31, has been on the mend from hip surgery since last season. He was looking to host a showcase at various points this year but held off until he felt well enough physically. After his 41-pitch session in Scottsdale, Arizona, “The Freak” sounded confident about his stuff.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 6, 2016
“I’ll kind of get an idea of what’s going on and what people are saying and what people are looking for and which teams are looking for a guy like myself,” Lincecum said to Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area. “I’ll hopefully make a decision in the near future. This isn’t familiar territory for me, so I’ll probably get a little bit of help from (my agent) with what he thinks I should do.”
In recent years, Lincecum’s velocity diminished from the high 90s to the mid-80s. Yet, in Friday’s showcase, Pavlovic noted that Lincecum’s fastball sat in the 90 to 92 mph range. Yet, others in attendance felt that Lincecum’s secondary pitches were still a work in progress.
Eric Longenhagen of ESPN wrote that Lincecum’s slider sat in the 84 to 86 mph range. He described that pitch as Lincecum’s “best secondary pitch at this point, featuring a good amount of late, two-plane movement.” Longenhagen noted that Lincecum began to lose his release point as he got further into the outing. Although, it’s not much of a surprise, since Lincecum has not pitched in a big league game since last June.
Here’s the scene after Tim Lincecum’s showcase in Scottsdale. He says he wants to pitch five or six more years. pic.twitter.com/BNWP31VTqA
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) May 6, 2016
There has been a lot of speculation as to what kind of role Lincecum would have on any given team. While he’s spent most of his career as a starter, injuries and league average pitching the past several seasons hage made the three-time World Series champion a potential bullpen option.
Lincecum reinforced his desire to start while speaking to Pavlovic.
“I think I know there are other teams (besides the Giants) out there that are looking for starters right now and I wouldn’t have to go to Triple-A and have to work my way behind somebody,” Lincecum said. “To be honest with you I’d rather start, but I know I need to get timing with others hitters in the box and work my way through it that way.”
Among the interested teams were the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and others. The New York Yankees were reportedly not interested in Lincecum’s services.
There were reports that Lincecum preferred to stay on the west coast, but he didn’t rule out pitching anywhere.
In regard to when Lincecum could return to major league game action, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi said it could happen before the end of May.
[Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images]