Report: Lincecum showcase set for Friday; Giants will attend


Report: Lincecum showcase set for Friday; Giants will attend

Editor's Note: The above video is from Feb. 25, 2016.

NEW YORK -- The Giants have been letting Tim Lincecum throw at their Scottsdale facility in recent weeks but team officials say they haven't watched, letting Lincecum work through the process in peace. This week, the Giants will finally get a look at a healthy and possibly improved version of No. 55.

Lincecum's long-awaited showcase will take place Friday in Scottsdale, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman. The Giants have said all along that regardless of timing or how their roster looks, they will attend and watch their longtime star throw. There is interest from the other side in a reunion. When Lincecum visited Scottsdale Stadium in February to see former teammates, he told one person he met with that San Francisco remains his preferred location. 

The Giants have insisted all along that the fit might not be right because they view Lincecum as a reliever, but April may have changed that thinking a bit. Matt Cain and Jake Peavy have allowed 43 runs in 50 innings this season, but manager Bruce Bochy said he's nowhere close to making a change. 

"I don’t think there’s an option that’s going to make the staff better," he said on Saturday. 

Lincecum might not be that guy, either, but he would at least represent a better fit than prospects who aren't knocking the door down in the upper levels of the minors. Lincecum had a 4.13 ERA last season, his ninth with the Giants, but reports out of Arizona have been good. Giants who have spoken to Lincecum in recent weeks say he's very encouraged by where his stuff is after a long rehab from September hip surgery. Per Heyman, Lincecum was throwing 90-91 mph in a bullpen session earlier this week, and Yahoo's Jeff Passan tweeted that word out of Scottsdale is that Lincecum's stuff has "been quite good."

Lincecum plans on coming back as a starter, but if that changes -- and the Giants stick with Cain and Peavy -- he still could find a fit with his old team. The Giants don't have a true long reliever on the roster and their bullpen has been a weakness through the season's first month.

If Lincecum looks as good as he hopes, there could be plenty of interest for his services. Teams are always looking for pitching, and Heyman wrote that up to 20 teams could be at the showcase. 

Farhan Zaidi says Giants keeping options open in pursuit of new closer


Farhan Zaidi says Giants keeping options open in pursuit of new closer

The Giants lost an All-Star early in free agency when closer Will Smith signed with his hometown Atlanta Braves last week.

Smith's departure left a clear void in San Francisco's bullpen, as he tied for fifth in MLB with a career-high 31 saves in 2019. Replacing Smith is a clear priority for Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, but he told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on Tuesday that he is in no rush to name a new closer.

"We've got some time to figure that out," Zaidi said on "The TK Show" podcast. "I don't think we need to decide that before Thanksgiving here, but one of the benefits for us of having made some of the trades we made at the deadline is it gave us the opportunity to see some of the younger relievers in our organization. Guys like Tyler Rogers, Jandel Gustave and Sam Coonrod. [These are guys] that could work their way into the picture and work their way into late-inning [situations] in 2020."

Rogers, Gustave and Coonrod were bright spots as rookies last season. None of the trio pitched more than 30 innings, but each showed potential pitching out of the bullpen in August and September. Rogers pitched the fewest innings of the three (17 2/3), but was worth nearly a win above replacement in his appearances, according to Baseball Reference's metrics.

[RELATED: Former Giants hitting coach Powell takes job in Japan]

No matter which of the three emerges, the Giants are going to have a different look in the late innings next season. That could include a free-agent acquisition as well, according to Zaidi.

"Our closer may be in the organization right now," Zaidi continued. "We're going to continue to shop around and see what options are out there, but we at least like the depth that we have in our group of relievers."

Former Giants hitting coach Alonzo Powell takes new job in Japan

Former Giants hitting coach Alonzo Powell takes new job in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Farhan Zaidi and the rest of the front office started the search for a new manager, the coaching staff was given time to look for new jobs. Hitting coach Alonso Powell ended up across the ocean, but his new job will still be a familiar one. 

Powell will join the staff of the Chunichi Dragons, a Japanese team based in Nagoya. He played for the Dragons for six seasons, hitting .355 in one of them and won three straight batting titles while starring in Nagoya from 1992-97. Powell is reportedly already working with the team:

The Giants had kept quiet about Powell's status, but they are expected to have nearly a completely new staff under Gabe Kapler, who was hired last week. Ron Wotus will return as third base coach, but he was the only holdover to attend Kapler's press conference. 

Bullpen coach Matt Herges has already joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as pitching coach and former bench coach Hensley Meulens has been offered a job by the Marlins. Meulens was also thought to be a candidate for the Mets bench coach job, and he has not officially been announced as a staff member for the Marlins. It's unclear where pitching coach Curt Young, assistant hitting coach Rick Schu, and first base coach Jose Alguacil currently stand.

[RELATED: Harris details meaningful trip to Wrigley bleachers

Powell, a Bay Area native, came to the Giants after the 2017 season with the task of getting an aging lineup to hit for more power. There were success stories, and Powell was popular within the organization, but he was unable to squeeze much more out of a veteran group. Powell came from Houston and brought some new methods to the Giants, and they're expected to go even further in that direction. The addition of Kapler, along with former Cubs executive Scott Harris, indicates the Giants will dive even deeper into analytics.