NASHVILLE — January is usually the slowest month for Major League Baseball, but one of the biggest stars in Giants history plans on shaking that up.
Tim Lincecum will throw for clubs next month after completing his rehab from hip surgery, with the hope that he lands a big league deal. A person familiar with Lincecum’s progress said Wednesday that the 31-year-old is already throwing and plans on letting it loose in front of MLB scouts and executives as soon as he reaches 100 percent. Many teams are said to be keeping tabs on Lincecum’s progress, including the Giants.
While a reunion would surely please a portion of the fan base, the Giants are taking a wait-and-see approach
“I’ve touched base with (Lincecum’s agent Rick Thurman) while I’ve been here, but that’s probably something that’s off to the side for now,” general manager Bobby Evans said. “Maybe that’s something that comes back around later.”
Lincecum has spent all nine of his big league seasons with the team that took him 10th overall in the 2006 draft, but a reunion would be complicated by the fact that he’s aiming to return as a starting pitcher, not a reliever or swingman. The Giants could potentially have a long reliever role open, but they’re not going to commit to holding a rotation spot. It’s possible the plans could change if Lincecum is not ready to start on opening day and needs to rehab for another month or so, and in that case, he could choose to do so with the only team he’s familiar with.
Lincecum’s camp isn’t expecting that to be the case, however. They’ve been told by Dr. Marc Philippon -- who performed the September procedure on Lincecum’s labrum -- that there’s a very good chance he will regain some of his lost velocity.
Lincecum maxed out at 90 mph last season, but the hope is that he can return to the 92-94 range after the procedure and a winter of grueling rehab. If that’s the case, you can bet the two-time Cy Young Award winner will find a job given the way the pitching market has exploded.