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. 

MLB rumors: Mark Kotsay entered Giants manager interviews as favorite

MLB rumors: Mark Kotsay entered Giants manager interviews as favorite

As the Giants watch the World Series from home, their search for a new manager continues. Replacing a legend like Bruce Bochy won't be easy, but president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi can't wait forever. 

Interviews have begun, and the favorite coming into the process might be someone who would just have to switch sides in the Bay Area. The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly reported Monday that "word around the industry is that [Mark] Kotsay entered this process as a favored candidate." One source also told Baggarly that he would be surprised if the Giants didn't hire Kotsay.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic first reported on Oct. 9 that the Giants would interview Kotsay, who currently serves as the A's quality control coach.

Kotsay, 43, had a 17-year MLB career where he spent four seasons -- 2004 through '07 -- as an outfielder for the A's. Zaidi was a baseball operations analyst in Oakland when Kotsay played for the A's. 

Kotsay retired after the 2013 season and became a special assistant in the San Diego Padres' front office the next season. He then served as the Padres' hitting coach for the 2015 season and was the A's bench coach in 2016. 

[RELATED: Could MadBum's ugly road stats hurt him in free agency?]

The Giants already interviewed in-house candidates Hensley Meulens and Ron Wotus. The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman and John Shea reported Monday that San Francisco also interviewed Cubs first base coach Wil Venable on Friday.

Other reported candidates include Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler

Could Madison Bumgarner's bad road stats hurt him in MLB free agency?

Could Madison Bumgarner's bad road stats hurt him in MLB free agency?

Madison Bumgarner is entering free agency at a curious time in his career. The longtime Giants ace has built a legendary reputation, but plenty of question marks also surround the 30-year-old.

Bumgarner proved he's still a workhorse after missing time the previous two seasons with freak injuries. His 34 starts were tied for the MLB lead, and his 207 2/3 innings pitched ranked second in the NL.

But while looking at Bumgarner's stats from this past season, one thing stands out that could hurt him in free agency and actually help the Giants if they want to bring back the left-hander.

MadBum's home-road splits were staggering in 2019. He was a completely different pitcher in front of the home crowd at Oracle Park, compared to pitching away from San Francisco.

Here are Bumgarner's home stats this past season, compared to when he pitched on the road.

Home: 19 GS, 6-2, 2.93 ERA, 122 2/3 IP, 40 ER, 15 HR, 120 SO, 21 BB, 0.93 WHIP, 5.71 SO/W
Away: 15 GS, 3-7, 5.29 ERA, 85 IP, 50 ER, 15 HR, 83 SO, 22 BB, 1.41 WHIP, 3.77 SO/W

Oracle Park is known as a pitcher's dream. In fact, the Giants' home park was the least favorable for offenses this season by Park Factors, per ESPN. The 11-year veteran used that his advantage, but that luxury didn't follow him on the road.

Bumgarner allowed the same amount of homers in four fewer road games as he did at home. He also walked one more batter and allowed five more hits -- 98 on the road, compared to 93 at home. For someone with a lot of mileage on his arm and his fastball declining in velocity, that's certainly alarming.

[RELATED: Astros call possible Giants target Cole 'West Coast guy']

As a pitcher who's never tested the open market and has spent his entire career in a pitcher's paradise, these numbers will be looked at closely by front offices around the league this offseason.

Bumgarner figures to join Gerrit Cole, among others, as the most coveted starting pitchers in free agency. So, while his road numbers could help the Giants in keeping him in San Francisco, they also could prevent the veteran from signing the hefty contract he likely desires.