OAKLAND — The A’s will indeed be one of the many teams scouting Tim Lincecum’s pitching showcase Friday in Arizona, a source confirmed to CSN California.
To what degree they have interest in the former Giants star isn’t clear, and it certainly isn’t a surprise to hear that around 20 clubs reportedly will be in attendance Friday, given the decorated resume of the two-time Cy Young winner.
The A’s recently lost starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to an elbow injury that could require Tommy John surgery, and that would sideline him not only for the rest of this season but likely part of 2017 as well. Bassitt is scheduled to get a second opinion on his elbow in Cincinnati soon.
Lefty Felix Doubront, who had won a spot in the season-opening rotation, was lost to Tommy John surgery shortly before Opening Day, and Jarrod Parker’s career hangs in limbo as he’s trying to recover from a re-fracture of his throwing elbow that happened in spring training.
The A’s do have some depth that they’ve already called upon, with Jesse Hahn and top pitching prospect Sean Manaea entering the rotation within the past week. They could get a major addition to their rotation in just a couple of weeks, as right-hander Henderson Alvarez has been sharp during a minor league rehab assignment as he comes back from shoulder surgery. If all continues to go well with Alvarez, he would likely join the rotation on the A’s next homestand, which begins May 16.
But given the injuries they’ve absorbed, it makes sense that the A’s would at least check out what the 31-year-old Lincecum still has in the tank. He became a free agent in November after going 7-4 with a 4.13 ERA in 15 starts last season for the Giants. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September and has seen his fastball velocity diminish in recent seasons.
Third baseman Danny Valencia was back with the A’s on Tuesday after going 0-for-3 in a rehab game Monday for Single-A Stockton. The original plan was for Valencia to play in three consecutive games before being activated from the disabled list Friday against Baltimore.
“The first day back there’s a little rust and you’re probably dragging or concerned about going all out,” manager Bob Melvin said of Valencia’s game Monday. “I’ll probably talk to him later about how he’s feeling, but I haven’t heard anything to suggest we’ve backed our timetable up.”
Melvin said Valencia is scheduled to play for Stockton again Wednesday.