The Fate Of The Angels Is In The Hands Of A Freak

According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, the Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a deal with free-agent pitcher Tim Lincecum, pending a physical. Lincecum has not pitched in the majors since June of 2015 after suffering a hip injury which required season-ending surgery as a member of the San Francisco Giants. Lincecum, also know as “The Freak,” was not re-signed by the Giants during offseason free agency and remained on the market until Monday after working out for several teams (reportedly were the Chicago White Sox, Giants, and Angels). Lincecum won helped the Giants to three World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014 and won consecutive Cy Young awards in 2008 and 2009. 

Maybe no other team in Major League Baseball is more desperate for starting pitching than the LA Angels after Garrett Richards was placed on the season-ending DL after suffering a high-grade UCL tear in his throwing arm. Along with Richards, the Angels are also coping with the losses of C.J. Wilson (elbow), who is set to return sometime in late June, Tyler Skaggs (Tommy John Surgery), and Andrew Heaney (elbow). The only healthy starter the Angels currently have on their roster that is not a minor league call-up is Hector Santiago, who has been extremely hot and cold to begin the 2016 season. The addition of Tim Lincecum is far from being the difference maker that the Angels will need in order to surpass the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners for AL-West supremacy as both the Mariners and Rangers have legitimate and healthy pitching staffs (Houston has faltered to begin the season). 

The presence of Tim Lincecum may not be the one thing that propels the Angels over the playoff hump, but it will allow them more depth on their pitching staff once C.J. Wilson returns. The signing of Lincecum also gives the Angels optimism that they can actually build a team around Mike Trout, who is arguably the best player in all of baseball. Without a starting pitching staff, the Angels are wasting prime years of Mike Trout’s career, and they know that. But, it really is not the Angels fault when you consider the number of significant elbow injuries that the team’s pitching staff has suffered in recent months. Hopefully, Tim Lincecum can provide a string of quality starts that can allow the Angels to stay in low-scoring games, and eventually, possibly help propel the Angels back into contention for a Wild Card spot.

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