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Giants impressed by Lincecum's showcase

Former San Francisco ace could fill need for club
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants liked what they saw of Tim Lincecum during the free agent's showcase effort Thursday. Whether that was enough to prompt the club to seek a reunion with its former staff ace remains uncertain.

Lincecum, 33, easily could fit the Giants' needs. Openings exist within the starting rotation, though Chris Stratton and Ty Blach are the favorites to claim those spots.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants liked what they saw of Tim Lincecum during the free agent's showcase effort Thursday. Whether that was enough to prompt the club to seek a reunion with its former staff ace remains uncertain.

Lincecum, 33, easily could fit the Giants' needs. Openings exist within the starting rotation, though Chris Stratton and Ty Blach are the favorites to claim those spots.

San Francisco also could use a middle reliever who's capable of throwing multiple innings, a role he occupied in spectacular fashion during the 2012 postseason. It's believed, however, that Lincecum would prefer to start.

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Giants general manager Bobby Evans said that the club sent a representative to Lincecum's throwing session. Evans related that the two-time Cy Young Award winner demonstrated "impressive depth" with his breaking pitches and commanded his fastball well.

Lincecum required surgery for a degenerative hip condition in September 2015, precipitating the end of his nine-year Giants tenure.

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Giants, like all teams, stung by Cactus onset

It's hard to believe, because pitchers and catchers have had only three workouts. A week from Friday, however, the Giants will open the Cactus League season with a game against the Brewers.

Position players will have experienced only four workouts by that date. This will prompt Giants manager Bruce Bochy to use his entire spring roster, giving rookies a chance to play, while veterans gradually work themselves into shape.

"Obviously, there's some concern with how fast these games are on us, with where these guys are," Bochy said. "Not that we're an old club. But I don't want them to get in a 'rush mode' and risk any possibility of injuries."

Bochy indicated that the unofficial rule urging teams to field Cactus League lineups that include at least four projected everyday players will be relaxed until March 1.

Worth noting

• Right-hander Johnny Cueto, who felt ill when pitchers and catchers began workouts Wednesday, was healthy enough to ask Bochy to accelerate his activity. However, Bochy advised Cueto to continue to rest and spurned Cueto's request to throw a bullpen session Saturday. He'll throw Monday instead.

• Bochy reconfirmed that power-hitting Chris Shaw, the Giants' top Minor League prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, will concentrate on playing left field during Cactus League games. Previously, Shaw was primarily a first baseman.

Bochy said that he has watched extensive videos of Shaw and likes what he sees from the 24-year-old non-roster invitee.

"He's got a good plan, a good idea," Bochy said, noting that Shaw is not a mindless hacker like many sluggers. "He's a smart hitter."

Ryder Jones, who started at three positions last year -- first base, third base and left field -- will receive the same variety of opportunities during Cactus League games.

"Ryder will play everywhere," Bochy said. 

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum