Bochy changes tone, introduces Lincecum's leash

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Bochy changes tone, introduces Lincecum's leash

Less than a week ago, Bruce Bochy was asked if Tim Lincecum's Saturday start against the Houston Astros was in jeopardy.

No, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. No chance. Well throw him back out there.

Fast forward to Thursday, and while the plan is still for Lincecum to start Saturday, Bochy's message had a decidedly different tone.

Told that general manager Brian Sabean said on the radio that Lincecum's next start would likely be skipped if he turns in another lackluster performance in his second-half opener against the Astros on Saturday, Bochy confirmed the statement.

"Yeah," Bochy acknowledged. "I don't want to put added pressure on him, but sometimes you have to do what's right."

Lincecum closed the unofficial first half of the season with a stinker. His 3 13-inning, six-run meltdown against the Pirates last Sunday made Lincecum -- at 3-10 -- the Giants' first double-digit loser at the break since Barry Zito in 2008.

It also raised his season ERA to 6.42, which is the highest among all 101 qualifying major league starters.

Based on his comments after his most recent loss, it's clear Lincecum is not comfortable. "Its been terrible and its a terrible feeling youre letting your team down. Thats the hardest thing.

"But it seems everybody else is doing their job and were playing good ball. To be the weaker link ... it wears on you."

His manager, while acknowledging that the team is fitting their right-hander with a collar and leash, has not lost faith.

"I said this in Pittsburgh, I think Timmy's going to bounce back and have a better second half," Bochy said. "We certainly need him."

Over his first six seasons, the first and second half haven't been too different for the two-time Cy Young Award winner. He owns a 44-27 mark and 3.50 ERA in the first half, and a 28-24 record and 2.94 ERA in the second half.

"Hopefully he'll go out there and throw the ball the way can," Bochy said. "I look forward to seeing him pitch Saturday."

The entire baseball world does.

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.” 

Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft

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Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft

LOS ANGELES -- Prosecutors say two security guards at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium have been arrested and are accused of stealing equipment, baseballs and jerseys from the major league team to sell online.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says Juan DeDios Prada and Fernando Sierra pleaded not guilty to burglary and other charges Thursday.

Prosecutors say the two security guards conspired with a third man, Jesse Luis Dagnesses, to steal baseball uniforms and other team merchandise to sell online.

They say Prada and Sierra stole more than $3,400 from a locked equipment room at the stadium between January 2013 and February 2016.

Authorities say Dagnesses is accused of receiving $950 in stolen baseballs and jerseys.

It wasn't immediately clear if the men had attorneys who could comment on the allegations.