Lincecum discusses life, not pitching, with his dad


Lincecum discusses life, not pitching, with his dad

SEATTLE Tim Lincecum is on his home turf this weekend.Hell have to defend much more than that when he takes the mound Saturday.

And hes fully aware of it.

I need to make my stand, do something, show people Imstill worth keeping in a rotation, Lincecum said. So hopefully this is aspringboard. Right now, I feel good.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner and Seattle native, comes home on a careerlow. He
is 2-7 with a 6.00 ERA that ranks 119th out of 122 majorleague pitchers to make at least 10 starts. The Giants are 0-8 in his lasteight starts.

Its an odd moment for Lincecum to take the moundat Safeco Field for the first time. Will it be a net positive to be home? Orwill it be one more distraction he doesnt need?

PHOTO GALLERY: Giants-Seattle -- What to watch for

I feel like its tilting in my favor, said Lincecum, whowon the Golden Spikes Award when he led the nation in strikeouts at theUniversity of Washington. I dont feel its a negative at all. I feel likethis is a comfort zone for me.

Im a homebody. Im not saying this is where I need to beto pitch, but you can take a break from whats been going on, come back hereand get a different perspective on things. See family, see friends, and justkind of take the edge off, give yourself the benefit of the doubt the next timeout and just go out there with a level head. Im definitely looking forward toit.

Lincecum hopes to control more than a level head. Hes alsoworking to incorporate mechanical tweaks as suggested by pitching coach DaveRighetti, including quieting his hands and eliminating unnecessary movement.The changes are designed to give him more consistent command, especially of hisfastball.

Thats why I used to go to the stretch -- to have lessmoving parts, to simplify things, Lincecum said. Thats kind of the directionIm going in. You guys can see it. The repetition is not there. Ive got toget that muscle memory back where Im throwing everything out of the same slot.Thats what people used to say about me. It came out in the same slot, the samehand.

Lincecum said he is not soliciting pitching advice from hisfather, Chris, who had been his coach his whole life and worked to develop thegymnastic mechanics that allowed him to generate such power from his smallishframe.

I think our relationship more has become about life, saidLincecum, who spent Thursday night at home with his dad. Back in the day hewas my coach and teacher and getting me prepared for this life. Now Im on myown and hes had to let go the last couple years.

We talk to each other. Not as much as people would think,but were still as close as we could be. Thats the thing. Were so much alikethat we can butt heads on things. Were both stubborn and we know that. We canget to bickering and we know the cycle. We know how its gonna go.

It is great to see him. Last night when I went over Ialways manage to piss him off with a smart-ass comment I make or something whenits like, Hey arent you just like happy to see me? My dad takes it toanother level. Thats just our relationship.

And Righetti? Theres a fair amount of head-butting thatgoes on there, too, right?

Its a very similar relationship, Lincecum said. My dadsmy dad obviously and Rags is like a second cousin to him.

Lincecum had an enjoyable 28th birthday onFriday. A group of more than 100 Giants fans even sang Happy Birthday to himas the team stretched on the field. There were plenty of Beatlesesque shrieks,too.

Lincecum got to meet his newborn niece for the first time.He also got to sleep in his own bed; he owns a condo near downtown, where helives in the offseason.

Lincecum said he hasnt thrown off a mound at Safeco Fieldin his life, other than a bullpen session when the Giants played their lastinterleague series here in 2009. The Huskies never scrimmaged or played a gamehere when he was in college. Lincecum didnt participate in any predraftworkouts here, either.

The draft remains a sore spot for the locals, who haventforgotten that the Mariners then-GM Bill Bavasi and scouting director BobFontaine Jr. took Cal pitcher Brandon Morrow when Lincecum was still on theboard. The Giants grabbed Lincecum when he was available with the 10thoverall pick.

Lincecum said hes let go of any miffed feelings he mighthave had.

Not at all, he said. I mean, I was completely contentwhen it happened that day. I was on the golf course when it happened and thatwas one of the best days of my life.

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

Editor's Note: The above video was recorded following Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012.

Gregor Blanco's bid to make the Arizona Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster is over.

The former Giants outfielder was released on Monday, Arizona announced.

Blanco had been dealing with an oblique injury and had played since March 21.

In 14 Cactus League games, Blanco went 9-for-40 (.225) with one double and three triples.

Blanco spent five years with the Giants and was part of the World Series winning teams in 2012 and 2014. During his time in San Francisco, the 33-year-old hit .259/.338/.360 with 78 doubles, 24 triples and 157 RBI in 649 games.

The D'backs signed Blanco to a minor league deal in January.

Giants spring training Day 43: A big game for veteran trying to lock up OF job

Giants spring training Day 43: A big game for veteran trying to lock up OF job

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For the first time, Gorkys Hernandez did not go back to Venezuela in the offseason to play winter ball. He's hoping that leads to another first. 

Hernandez has never made an opening day roster, but after breaking into the Giants’ outfield rotation last season, he entered the winter in a decent shot. To bolster his case, Hernandez stayed in Scottsdale over the offseason to work out at the minor league facility. The added strength didn’t lead to any notable results over the first month of games, but Hernandez broke through Monday with three doubles in the final home game of the spring.

“Sometimes (slumps) happen and sometimes you’re late (on pitches) and you don’t feel comfortable at the plate, but now I feel different. I feel better,” Hernandez said. “I’m recognizing pitches and trying to keep it simple and not do too much.”

The coaching staff has asked several players to head down to the minor league facility late in the spring and get additional at-bats, and Hernandez took Bruce Bochy up on the offer. He twice played in minor league games, and on Sunday he rotated into different games so he could get six at-bats. Hernandez said that helped him find his timing. 

“Without question, it helped his timing,” Bochy said. “He was off. He was getting out front, his timing was off. I think the at-bats he got paid off.”

The three-double day was perfectly timed. Hernandez entered with a .159 average and Justin Ruggiano, the other option as a backup center fielder, had started to put together better at-bats. Monday’s game was a reminder in more ways than one. Hernandez showed off the type of speed the Giants won’t have on the bench if Kelby Tomlinson is optioned, and he played all three outfield positions, switching from left to right to center. 

The role in play is one Gregor Blanco had for five seasons. The Giants would like Hernandez to be their defensive whiz at every outfield spot, and they’re light on true center fielders. If the Giants put Hernandez on the roster this week as expected, he’ll be ready to try and be the new Blanco. 

“If they give me that role, I’ll try to do the same thing,” he said. “Or better.”

THE ACE: Madison Bumgarner is going to Madison Bumgarner. He threw seven sharp innings Monday, lowering his spring ERA to 2.52. In 25 innings, he has allowed just 17 hits and struck out 23. Bochy appreciated Bumgarner’s intensity Monday against a Reds team that was filled with minor leaguers. 

“That’s what makes him so good,” Bochy said. “He takes every outing seriously. His preparation doesn’t waver.”

Bumgarner even added a single, and he liked that it came on a breaking ball. He’s worked on getting better at hitting those pitches, which he’s seeing more and more. 

“I feel I’m as ready as I can be to start the season,” Bumgarner said. 

His next pitch will be thrown Sunday at Chase Field. 

GAME RECAP: The Giants blasted poor Reds starter Cody Reed, hanging 10 runs on his line in 3 2/3 innings. Denard Span had two hits and Aaron Hill had three, driving in three runs. Bochy went with an interesting lineup, leading off with Span, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. He said he likes Crawford in that five-spot. He also plans to hit the pitcher eighth on occasion.

TRAINER’S ROOM: Joe Panik was drilled by a fastball in the lower back and he came out of the game as a precaution. Panik has a nasty welt, so he’s in for a night of ice, but there are no concerns. 

QUOTABLE: Posey turned 30 today. As he walked out to stretch, Bumgarner was asked if he was giving Posey a hard time. “No, he’s been 30 for the last seven years,” Bumgarner said.