Lincecum avoids Rockies, faces minor leaguers

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Lincecum avoids Rockies, faces minor leaguers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Dave Righetti must care a lot abouthis pitching staff. He lays awake at night thinking about them.

The Giants longtime pitching coach sent a text messageto Tim Lincecum at 12:34 a.m. Wednesday night, letting him know of a change inplans for his next start. Instead of facing the Colorado Rockies at Salt RiverFields Thursday night, Lincecum threw 91 pitches in a Single-A game at theGiants minor league complex.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner worked on his fastballcommand and pitched into the sixth inning while giving up four runs at IndianSchool Park. The change of plans was designed to give him a controlledenvironment to build his pitch count and also avoid facing the Rockies, whomhell face in his second start of the regular season.

It didnt seem fair when Lincecum threw one of his lethalchangeups to dust off an Angels minor leaguer with No. 0 on his jersey.

I know theyre not going to feel bad if they get a hitoff of me, so I dont feel bad either, a smiling Lincecum said. Its adifferent kind of atmosphere. You kind of get back to the roots, when you weregrowing up and you just came out and played for fun and the love of the game.Not that its any different now, but its just a different atmosphere and I hada lot of fun with it.

The ticket holders for Thursday nights exhibitionprobably have a different view. Theyll watch left-hander Brian Burres insteadof Lincecum.

Lincecum said his fastball command wasnt where he wantsit; too many pitches were at the belt instead of the knees. But hes confidenthis curveball and changeup are ready for April 6, when hell start on openingday at Arizonas Chase Field.

Its Lincecums fourth Opening Day assignment. This onecomes against the defending NL West champions the team that beat him in hisfinal regular-season start in September to leave him with a 13-14 record.

Lincecum said he still gets pumped up for the Opening Dayhonor, especially this time.

Its going to be a big game because weve got a little bitof a remembrance of where we were last year, and they were able to celebrate infront of us, Lincecum said. So Im sure a lot of people are itching to getback out there and go start the battle over again. Hopefully itll be in ourfavor this time.

Will Lincecum watch the banner-raising ceremony?

Uhhmmm, he said, Im indifferent to it.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy denied that he and Righettiwere playing keepaway from the Rockies. But Lincecum said he preferred not toface them.

You try to avoid that right before the season so guysdont get a knack for you and you dont get stupid things going through yourhead, he said.

Like what?

Like are these guys on me? he said. You questionyourself sometimes in the spring. The first outing I had against them wasabsolutely terrible. Its a new slate when the season starts. Its easier to dothat when I dont have to face them right before the season.

Giants minor leaguer, Walnut Creek native pitches perfect game

Giants minor leaguer, Walnut Creek native pitches perfect game

BOX SCORE

A Giants minor leaguer made history on Tuesday night in Kentucky.

Left-handed pitcher Domenic Mazza pitched a perfect game for the Augusta GreenJackets against the Lexington Legends.

It is the first nine-inning perfect game in the history of the Class-A South Atlanta League.

Mazza needed just 85 pitches to complete the feat and struck out nine Legends batters in the effort. The last three outs were all flyball outs and the final out set off a wild celebration by GreenJackets players, who mobbed Mazza.

Including Tuesday's performance, the 22-year-old Mazza owns a 3.48 ERA in four starts for Augusta this season. In 2016, he made 14 starts for Augusta and compiled a 3.93 ERA.

Born in Walnut Creek, Mazza attended Clayton Valley High School and played his college ball at UC Santa Barbara. The Giants drafted him in the 22nd round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

Dodgers call up top prospect day after Giants promote Arroyo

Dodgers call up top prospect day after Giants promote Arroyo

Anything you can do, I can do better.

A day after the Giants called up top prospect Christian Arroyo, the Dodgers have summoned their top prospect Cody Bellinger.

Like Arroyo, Bellinger is 21 years old. But the Dodgers' first base prospect is more highly touted.

Entering the 2017 season, Baseball America had Bellinger ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect in baseball while ESPN's Keith Law had him at No. 6. Since the beginning of the season, with prospects ahead of him graduating to the major leagues, Bellinger moved up to No. 3 on Law's list.

Arroyo and Bellinger are getting a taste of the Giants-Dodgers rivalry right away. Arroyo made his debut Monday and batted sixth. On Tuesday, Bellinger is batting eighth against Ty Blach and playing left field.

In 18 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bellinger hit .343/.429/.627 with four doubles, five home runs, 15 RBI and seven stolen bases.

To make room on the 25-man roster, the Dodgers optioned outfielder Brett Eibner to Triple-A. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Joe Gunkel was designated for assignment.