Four-time All-Star and two-time NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum didn't pitch after June 27 last season due to degenerative hips and then in September had surgery. Per several reports, Lincecum believes the reason for his decline in recent years was his hip condition.
So, now that he's signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Angels, it's time for Lincecum to prove that he's "back," now that his hip is fixed.
Thus far in the minors, things have been looking pretty great. Through three starts, Lincecum has a 2.65 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. His Sunday outing was brilliant.
Lincecum actually had a no-hitter going through five innings and ended up allowing only one hit (a single) in seven shutout innings. He struck out eight and walked just one. He needed only 89 pitches to get through seven innings.
Everything about that outing screams that Lincecum is ready and, sure enough, that would appear to be the case:
Tim Lincecum will "definitely" join Angels rotation this weekend. Looking like Saturday will be his debut.— Trent Schlom (@trentschlom) June 13, 2016
It will surely be weird for baseball fans to see Lincecum in a uniform other than the Giants, as he pitched with them for nine seasons. He won three World Series rings and two Cy Youngs. He threw two no-hitters.
He'll forever be known as a Giant, but now he'll be an Angel, reportedly starting on Friday.
Lincecum could really help the Angels' rotation, too. With injuries to Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano, it is a message. Matt Shoemaker is dialed in right now, but Jered Weaver is bad and Jhoulys Chacin won't be consistent. All-Star Hector Santiago has a 12.18 ERA in his last five starts, too.
So, yes, Lincecum can be a nice shot in the arm for the Angels. We can't expect Cy Young Lincecum, but even something like the 2010 version (3.43 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) would be a huge improvement.