Giants

Don't sweat Lincecum's spring fever

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Don't sweat Lincecum's spring fever

When they say "spring training means nothing," exhibit A might be Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum.

It happened again on Wednesday. Lincecums line: five earned runs in two innings pitched. Most Giants fans are pretty used to this, but there seems to always be consternation when Timmy pitches poorly. I decided to take a look at the numbers -- game by game -- from his spring history to see if there are any trends or carryover. Turns out, not many trends and pretty much zero carryover.

Lincecum's spring fever started with his very first spring appearance in 2007. Three earned runs in two innings pitched against Milwaukee. It has continued every spring.

Eight times, including Wednesday, he has had at least as many earned runs as innings pitched in a spring appearance.

Home or away doesnt matter; he has stunk both places. Early or later in spring training; he's had some stinkers in both time periods. Early or later in his career, age hasnt affected his up-and-down starts. There isn't one year he has sailed through spring training; the best he fared was 2009 when he posted a 4.03 ERA (though that was also the year of his lowest season ERA, 2.48). His career spring ERA is 5.25.

I did find one correlation. Maybe he doesnt like pitching in Arizona as much as other places. His ERA of 4.13 at Chase Field is the highest at any stadium where hes made more than two starts, including Coors Field. Even with that, he has a 3-2 record at Chase.

Those are some of the bad numbers, so how about the good? He actually has a 6-2 career spring record in 26 appearances, with 94 strikeouts in 85.2 innings, so it hasnt been all bad.

So what do all these numbers mean? As I stated at the beginning, absolutely nothing. Indeed, Lincecums career regular season ERA in March and April is 2.26, his lowest of any month.

If there are any Giants fans who are still worried after years of watching Lincecum's ERA balloon every spring...dont.

Lee Siegel is the Assistant News Director at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

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AP

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

There was something almost disturbingly surreptitious about the Giants’ decision to announce Dave Righetti’s removal as pitching coach (for a front office job) Saturday. Saturday, after all, is the day you typically bury sports news that isn’t football, or related to football in some way.

But that could just be us being needlessly conspiratorial. We’re willing to bestow, if not the benefit of the doubt, at least the lack of doubt.

Still, Righetti’s reassignment, and those of bullpen coach Mark Gardner and assistant hitting coach Steve Decker, makes it clear that however the Giants want to avoid the use of the word “rebuilding,” they are indeed rebuilding – just not in the traditional new-players-for-old way.

General manager Bobby Evans made it clear without saying the words that Righetti’s messaging had lost its efficacy with the younger pitchers, who for the most part had not been part of the franchise’s most glorious times. And since the only pitchers still on the 40-man roster who had been with the club for its last World Series parade are Madison Bumgarner and Hunter Strickland, Evans clearly concluded that the message to the new staff needed to come from elsewhere.

Now this assumes that the problem with the Giants’ pitching was not the talent level or the execution, of course. Typically, it takes a lot for a manager or coach to screw up his job so profoundly that he needs to be replaced – mostly it’s considered an environmental matter that a new voice saying the old stuff is sufficient. It’s really more alchemy than science, and alchemy is fairly hit-or-miss.

But it is change where the Giants feel they can change; their four starters (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore) and closer (Mark Melancon) are in for $70.8 million this coming year, so a full-on demolition is not cost effective, and the young’uns (Chris Stratton, Strickland, Cory Gearrin, Derek Law, et. al.) remain in that tenuous middle ground between dependable and disposable. In other words, there aren’t a lot of options for dramatic player change, and the Giants don’t look to be aggressive buyers in the off-season, crackpot Giancarlo Stanton rumors notwithstanding.

So this is the face of the Giants’ rebuild so far – Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner and Steve Decker. Make of the act and the circumstances of the release of the information what you will, but as it is neither the manager (Bruce Bochy is golden) or the players (who with only a few exceptions are decidedly meh, with a side of feh), it will have to do as the first answer to the question, “What do they intend to do about 64-98?"

I mean other than keeping a low profile about it.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

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USATSI

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

With free agency set to begin five days after the World Series ends, two hitters that played for the Giants during the 2017 season have put their names on the open market.

Veteran third baseman Conor Gillaspie and longtime minor league outfielder Carlos Moncrief have both elected for free agency, according to Baseball America.

The 30-year-old Gillaspie appeared in 44 games for the Giants this past season. He hit just .168/.218/.288 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He was designated for assignment on August 3 and outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on August 5. With the River Cats, Gillaspie hit .375 with four doubles in 15 games in August.

Prior to the 2017 season, Gillaspie signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Giants.

As for Moncrief, the soon-to-be 29-year-old finally got his first call-up the majors this past season after eight and a half seasons in the minors. He debuted for the Giants on July 29. In 28 games, he hit .211/.256/.237 with one double and five RBI. While he didn't do much with the bat, Moncrief showed off a cannon for an arm when he patrolled right field.