ATLANTA – The Braves will be among the teams attending former All-Star pitcher Tim Lincecum’s showcase this week.
Lincecum will throw for teams at Driveline Research Lab in Seattle on Thursday. His longtime employer, the Giants, will also reportedly be in attendance.
The 33-year-old has reportedly topped 90 mph in his recent workouts. It remains to be seen whether he’s targeting a return as a starter or reliever, but he has experience with both.
Once one of baseball’s premier aces, Lincecum fell off the map. He attempted a comeback with the Angels in 2016 but was designated for assignment after posting a 9.16 ERA in 38 1/3 innings.
During his Giants run (2007-15), few were better than Lincecum. He won back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2008-9, and earned four All-Star appearances from 2008-11. He led the National League in strikeouts three times and toss two no-hitters.
He helped the Giants win three World Series during that span. He opened the 2010 NLDS with a two-hit, 14-strikeout shutout of the Braves.
Lincecum owns a 3.74 career ERA with 1,736 strikeouts and seven shutouts across 1,682 innings.
But his velocity dropped into the 80s, and his 2016 comeback was short-lived. Photos circulated earlier this offseason that he was preparing for another chance.
If Lincecum succeeds in his showcase, it’s fair to assume there’ll be a handful of teams willing to take a flier, hoping he can regain even half his old form.
Despite the abundance of youth, the Braves have repeatedly said they’ll keep their options open. The team inquired about frontline starters earlier in the offseason but decided against paying the price.
The Braves added veteran Brandon McCarthy via trade, along with their own dice roll in the oft-injured Scott Kazmir, but the team hasn’t ruled out more external help. The same can be said for the bullpen, which along with third base, has been at the center of the team’s discussions.
Perhaps that’s where Lincecum hypothetically fits in. The Braves won’t want to block some of their young starters, but having a veteran, championship-experienced reliever wouldn’t hurt. That is, if this showcase goes better than Lincecum’s last display with Anaheim.
Ultimately, it’s the team doing its due diligence, along with several other organizations. There’s no cost in taking a look, and the front office wouldn’t be maximizing its opportunities if it passed.
This article was written by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.