Former San Francisco Giants pitcher and current free agent Tim Lincecum will try to prove to representatives from more than 20 MLB teams that his surgically repaired hip is healthy during a throwing session Friday, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
After going 33-12 over a two-year stretch with two Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009, Lincecum's last four years have seen him go 39-42 with an ERA worse than 4.00 in each season before he underwent hip surgery in September.
The hype is building, though, thanks to Lincecum's father telling Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports that his son's curveball is "the best curveball I’ve seen in four years."
On Wednesday, Lincecum spoke with Passan about the injury that nagged him throughout his struggles:
I didn’t know which days were gonna be the good days and which were gonna be the bad ones. Some days my hip would bite at me. Some days it would be fine. But I didn’t have a lot of stability and strength in it. I wasn’t able to sustain the end of my motion, when my foot hit. It felt very erratic, very wild. It didn’t feel like much of a drive. It felt like I was jumping. That’s where I lost it all. The power was lost in my legs, and it didn’t drive through my hips, my mid-back and up into my shoulder. I was throwing a lot with my arm.
Even with that uncertainty, he managed to go 7-4 with a 4.13 ERA in 2015 before shutting down for the year, though there were certain moments when the injury flared up:
Eight months after surgery, Lincecum is ready to get back to baseball, though he told Passan that he would "need a few minor league starts to acclimate himself to live games before he’s ready for the major leagues."
Though many teams may be interested, there is a chance that he'll return to San Francisco, as he told Passan: "Where I end up is where I’ll end up. [The Giants] already have six starters. I’ve got to just look out for me, and if they’re the No. 1 piece in the puzzle when it comes down to decision time, I’ll be excited to go back."
If Lincecum is able to show off a fastball that reaches 90-plus mph with a dynamic curveball, he may see some offers from teams that are looking for help in their rotations.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.