Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum is working out for scouts and front office personnel after recovering from hip surgery. (Getty Images)

If you haven’t heard, Tim Lincecum is putting on a “showcase” today and there are a lot of scouts from a lot of teams present. One team that needs to go all-in on the former Cy-Young winner is the LA Angels.

The Angels have lost their No.1 and No.2 starting pitchers to UCL injuries. No. 1 starter Garrett Richards will need Tommy John surgery after a MRI revealed a complete tear of the UCL ligament. Andrew Heaney, the Angels No.2 starter has UCL damage, although not as severe as Richards. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain after he was placed on the disabled list following his first start of the season, but this is obviously more serious. Unlike Richards, the plan at the moment is for Heaney to rehab rather than go under the knife. Sometimes that works. Often it doesn’t and Tommy John happens later. We’ll see.

It’s been over four years since Tim Lincecum has had an ERA below four, but to the Angels it shouldn’t matter. They need starting pitching now to stay afloat in the ultra-competitive AL West. The Angels are 13-15 and four games out in the division as it is. Without two starters whom they were counting on, it’s hard to see how they will stay close to anyone in the division.

Lincecum is the strongest and healthiest he’s been in years. The last few years were rough for him as he told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan…“Pretty rough, to be honest with you, because I didn’t know which days were gonna be the good days and which were gonna be the bad ones. Some days my hip would bite at me. Some days it would be fine. But I didn’t have a lot of stability and strength in it. I wasn’t able to sustain the end of my motion, when my foot hit. It felt very erratic, very wild. It didn’t feel like much of a drive. It felt like I was jumping. That’s where I lost it all. The power was lost in my legs, and it didn’t drive through my hips, my mid-back and up into my shoulder. I was throwing a lot with my arm.”

To add to the Richards and Heaney injuries, veteran starter C.J. Wilson who has yet to pitch this season is currently on the DL to remove bone spurs from his elbow and Tyler Skaggs is still recovering from Tommy John surgery he had at the end of 2014. The Angels only have three starters in their rotation, Hector Santiago, Jered Weaver and Nick Tropeano. The time is now for Lincecum to join the rotation and try to regain his form that saw him be the most un-hittable pitcher in the majors. While the Lincecum from six years ago will likely never return, if he can get halfway back to what he was that would be a win for the Halos.

Lincecum admitted he will need a couple starts in the minors to re-acclimate himself to the speed of the game, but after that he could be a contributor to whichever big league club signs him. If the Angels don’t, someone else will and their playoffs hopes will continue to plummet.

 

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