Tim Lincecum threw live batting practice Tuesday for the second time within a week’s time-frame. Upon finishing, both Lincecum and pitching coach Doug Brocail realized that ‘The Freak’ would most likely not be on the 25-man roster come opening day.
While the Rangers have no closer set at this point, with 9 days left before opening day, command continues to be an issue for the 2-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
Lincecum understands that his role is as a late-inning guy who has to come in and be dominant right out of the gate. “For what I’m trying to accomplish as a late-inning guy, I need to hit my spot more consistently,” he stated during a press conference.
The 4-time All-Star is set to throw another live batting practice Friday, before he throws in a game. As he looks to prepare for yet another hurdle, throwing on back to back days, which is essential that a bullpen pitcher has that kind of stamina. Brocail believes Tim will be back in Major League Baseball after he has five to seven outings and can prove he can throw without rest on back to back nights.
Lincecum has not seen action in a Major League game since 2016, but Tommy Joseph, who is familiar with Lincecum and faced him Tuesday, believes he still has it. “He threw some pitches today that were good and tough to even make contact against or keep fair,” Joseph told Dallas News’ Evan Grant.
For the time being, Jeff Banister, Rangers manager, will have Jake Diekmam, Alex Claudio, and Keone Kela to choose from as their 9th inning guy. Banister does not want to give anyone that title as their ‘closer’ just yet, telling Grant, “That’s a big decision for us. . . it takes some time to grow into that.”
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