Lincecum won't 'be the guy who throws a tantrum'


Lincecum won't 'be the guy who throws a tantrum'

SAN FRANCISCO It wasnt easy for Giants manager BruceBochy to tell Tim Lincecum that he wouldnt be a part of the starting rotationfor the NL Division Series.

RELATED: Vogelsong, not Lincecum will start Game 3

It wasnt easy for Lincecum to hear it, either.

Then again, nothing has been easy this season for theGiants two-time Cy Young Award winner. He traveled a dark and dreary roadwhile going 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA. He wasn't in command of his mechanics or his pitches.

Now, publicly, hes taking the high road. That much he can control.

Im not going to be the guy who throws a tantrum becauseIm not getting what I want or Im not getting what I think I deserve orwhatnot, said Lincecum, who stopped to talk to reporters prior to Game 2 onSunday. Its not about that. Right now its about the team and its aboutwinning. This is not about stats. Its not about individual rewards. Its aboutthe team.

Oh, but the decision was about stats. Remove the names andlook at just the pure numbers. Lincecum easily was the Giants fifth-beststarter this season. The club went 2-8 in his first 10 starts and he needed amuch-improved second half just to reach double-digit victories.
RATTO: All signs point to Lincecum not starting in NLDS

It wasnt enough of a second-half rebound for Bochy to letLincecums past trump Ryan Vogelsongs present-day stuff.

Earlier in the day, Bochy insisted Lincecum was on board with the decision tostart Vogelsong in Game 3. After batting practice, Lincecum didnt offer any spoken evidence to thecontrary.

I dont make up the lineup and yeah, as much as Id like tostart, I dont make that say, said Lincecum, stopped in a stairwell on his way back to the clubhouse. Hes the one making thedecisions and thats what hes there for and Im all for it. Any position I canbe in to help the team, whether thats coming out of the bullpen or making along relief appearance or anything, or starting on whichever day, it reallydoesnt matter to me. I just want to help my team.

"I kind of understood it a little more than you would expectjust because I understand the way Ive been going right now. My last twostarts werent that great and other guys had more success coming into thisseries than I have.

Its more of an open mindset. Its ,If Im starting Imstarting, and if Im in the bullpen, I know the reasons why. Its aboutearning it and its not about what youve done. Its about what youve donelately, and my last two starts werent very good.

Lincecum confirmed he hadnt been told to prepare for apotential Game 4 start; the Giants are expected to name Barry Zito, althoughMatt Cain will be an option on short rest.

Lincecum said he hadnt been told any plans beyond the NLDivision Series, either, should the Giants advance. But if the Giants other startersstruggle enough to open the door for Lincecum, that means the team probably wouldntget past the Cincinnati Reds, anyway.

Lincecum started and relieved at the University ofWashington and made one relief appearance in Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS at Philadelphia, where hestruck out Jayson Werth in the eighth inning and gave up singles to Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez.Brian Wilson took over and got lucky when Carlos Ruiz lined into a double playas the Giants went on to clinch the NL pennant.

Lincecum has made one regular-season relief appearance, althoughthat came in a 2008 game at Dodger Stadium when there was the threat of rain;Bochy, anticipating a long delay in the middle of the game, decided to startreliever Guillermo Mota and brought in Lincecum to begin the third inning.

Lincecum said he hadnt forgotten his fireman days fromcollege.

Its easy to kind of ride on that adrenaline when you hearyour name, Lincecum said. It happened to me in the NLCS in 2010. That littlebit of experience should help me. I feel like I should be all right if I takemy time out there and approach it like its any other inning. College or not,Ive still done it.

Lincecum did not take any issue with the decision to startVogelsong in Game 3, even though the 35-year-old journeyman and 2011 All-Star had his own struggles in August andSeptember before rebounding with three solid outings to end the season.

Hes been through a grind his whole life so for him to comeout and throw two great seasons up like he has this year and last year spokevolumes to what hes about and what hes committed to, Lincecum said. You cansee the intensity in his face that this is what hes about.

I think hes just been waiting for this moment to get thechance to do that and I think hes going to step up.

Two years ago, it was Zito who got bypassed. The left-hander wasnt onany of the three postseason rosters, yet kept throwing to stay ready. Did Lincecum seek any counsel from Zito onhow to handle Bochys decision?

I wouldnt say its like, Hey Barry, can you help me outhere? Lincecum said. Things get brought up at times. Were human beings andwe have emotions and were going to help each other because were teammates andweve been through a lot together.

Whats next for Lincecum, who turned down overtures for along-term contract last winter to sign a two-year deal that takes him up tofree agency? How will a decision like this impact his preparation, hisreadinesshis future?

Thats going to be something Ill go over with myself and obviouslywith my father (Chris) and whoever I think is going to be there to help meimmediately in the offseason, Lincecum said. So right now Im just working onwhat I need to be out of the bullpen with what I have."

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency


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.

Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches


Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches

SAN FRANCISCO — Late in a 98-loss season, general manager Bobby Evans met with members of the coaching staff to discuss new roles. The shakeup of the staff ended up being a stunning one. 

Pitching coach Dave Righetti was one of three coaches to be reassigned Saturday morning. After 18 seasons as pitching coach, Righetti will now serve as special assistant to the general manager. Bullpen coach Mark Gardner was given a “special assignment role to assist in pitching evaluations.” Assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will be a special assistant for baseball operations. 

The moves cap a 13-month run in which the coaching staff has taken much of the blame for a $200 million roster that was poorly constructed in places and played embarrassing baseball for long stretches of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Third base coach Roberto Kelly was let go after the 2016 season and first base coach Billy Hayes was reassigned. More changes appear on the way. 

“It does raise the level of attention to change when you struggle as much as we have, but you’re always contemplating making changes to try to help keep pushing your guys and make sure you continue to have different perspectives and new voices and reflections on how to get the most out of them,” Evans said on a conference call. 

Throughout September, multiple coaches expressed concern about their future roles, but the Giants held off several weeks before announcing changes. At least two members of the staff were involved in managerial searches elsewhere, and third base coach Phil Nevin is reportedly still a candidate for the open job in Philadelphia. 

Evans confirmed that he has interviewed outside candidates for a hitting coach role, but he would not go so far as to say Hensley Meulens will be reassigned as well. He also would not speak to the future of Ron Wotus, although the longtime bench coach is expected to be mixed up in future changes as well. Evans indicated he would announce further moves after all the open managerial vacancies are filled.

For now, the Giants are in the process of trying to find a new pitching coach. They are focused on experienced outside candidates, and they have plenty of options, as several other teams have made changes this month. Evans hinted that he wants the next pitching coach to have a more analytical approach. 

Righetti's replacement will have massive shoes to fill. His run was the longest for a pitching coach in franchise history. The Giants, usually so reliant on pitching, finished 16th in the Majors with a 4.50 ERA, but it’s hard to see how Righetti takes the blame for that. Madison Bumgarner missed a chunk of the season after a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto had a brutal injury-plagued year, Matt Moore battled himself and had the worst ERA in the National League, and the bullpen struggled, with closer Mark Melancon pitching through an injury that required season-ending surgery. 

Righetti was credited with helping to develop a rotation and bullpen that won three titles, and the bond he shared with pitchers was on display during the final weekend of the year, when Matt Cain talked repeatedly about their close relationship and went straight for Righetti after he came off the field for the final time. While it’s often hard to figure out where to give credit, even in a down year for the staff, Righetti played a role in Sam Dyson’s resurgence, and he helped Ty Blach and Chris Stratton break in as big league regulars. 

“Ultimately a change for us in the clubhouse is really an opportunity just to put a new voice with our pitching staff and try to keep pushing to the heights that we aspire as an organization and a club,” Evans said. “Changes sometimes are needed as much for the sake of that new voice as anything, and I think that was really the priority here.”

Righetti will help Evans in a front office role. Evans admitted that Righetti’s “heartbeat is in uniform as a coach,” but said he was willing to take on a new role for an organization he loves. 

Gardner, a former Giants pitcher, had been on staff since 2003. He will now help to evaluate pitchers inside and outside the organization, and Evans said Gardner could serve an important role in evaluating trade options. Decker joined the big league staff in 2015 after a long run working in the minor leagues. The 2017 season was his 23rd with the organization. He will have a “blank canvas,” Evans said, working in different roles inside the organization. Decker will also help with draft preparation.