Lincecum gives himself good marks after facing hitters

Lincecum gives himself good marks after facing hitters
February 27, 2012, 9:57 pm
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Tim Lincecums fastballs were up in thezone Monday, when he faced hitters for the first time this spring. But thatdidnt lower his spirits.He labeled his session "an 8.5" on a scale of 1 to 10 and saidhe plans to be ready to take the next step. Giants manager Bruce Bochy saidLincecum should be ready for the first game of the Cactus League exhibitionschedule on Saturday, although a final determination wont be made for anotherday or two.
Lincecum appears to have pushed past his mild back stiffnessthat slowed him earlier in camp.I wasnt as sharp as I was hoping and a lot of my fastballswere mid-thigh or higher, said Lincecum, who threw on a back field. I wasmissing up more than anything. But the changeup felt good. The rhythm feltgood.Lincecum didnt allow a ball to leave the infield as hefaced Conor Gillaspie, Justin Christian, minor league catcher Andrew Susac andoutfield prospect Francisco Peguero. Susac checked his swing a couple of times.That was fun, said Susac, who was drafted in June fromOregon State by way of Jesuit High near Sacramento. That changeup is one heckof a pitch.Susac said hes only faced one pitcher like Lincecum, andthat was UCLAs Trevor Bauer last Junes third overall pick by the ArizonaDiamondbacks. (Most members of Lincecum's hitting group actually said they were more uncomfortable against the next pitcher they faced, sidewinding left-hander Javier Lopez. Gillaspie shook his head after whiffing twice, but Christian managed to take him deep.)It was a good day for the rest of the rotation, too. MadisonBumgarner looked sharp and composed as he faced hitters; Ryan Vogelsong, whohas been slowed by a strained lower back, played catch with no problems andlikely will toss it around again Tuesday.Bochy didnt watch Lincecum. He was on the main fieldsurveying Bumgarner.Hes 22 years old and you can get amped with all these other young kids flyingout there, Bochy said. But he had good tempo, good pace. He knew what hewanted to work on out there. Its impressive for a young kid.None of the pitchers worked with Buster Posey on Monday. A day afterhe faced live batting practice for the first time, Posey was held out ofworkouts completely as a precaution. He said his left ankle was fine andconfided in Bochy that he felt strange about not taking the field.I said to Buster, Hey, thats the kind of country club wererunning here, Bochy said.

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