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Lincecum unlikely to be ready by Opening Day

Veteran throws second batting-practice session of Spring Training
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Tim Lincecum threw two innings of batting practice on Tuesday, and the results reinforced the suspicion he will not be ready for Opening Day.

"Doesn't look like it," Lincecum said. "I still have some stuff to refine. I wasn't extremely happy with the day. I was happy with the level of work. I've got a lot of refining to do."

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Tim Lincecum threw two innings of batting practice on Tuesday, and the results reinforced the suspicion he will not be ready for Opening Day.

"Doesn't look like it," Lincecum said. "I still have some stuff to refine. I wasn't extremely happy with the day. I was happy with the level of work. I've got a lot of refining to do."

The Rangers signed Lincecum on March 7, and this was only his second batting-practice session. He is scheduled to throw at least one more Friday before the Rangers consider using him in a Minor League game.

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"I was happy with the amount of work I got in," Lincecum said. "I got up to 40-something pitches, so that was good. Fastball location was something I battled with. Changeup was good. Secondary stuff was good, got some swings and misses. Fastball location was the big thing. I think that will refine as I get off the mound more."

One of the hitters facing Lincecum was Tommy Joseph, who was claimed on waivers from the Phillies on Monday. Joseph used to be a catcher in the Giants' farm system and worked with Lincecum in previous springs. He hit a home run off Lincecum on Tuesday, but he was still impressed with what he saw.

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"There were some pitches that were nasty," Joseph said. "He is going to want greatness, but what I saw, it can play in the Major Leagues."

Joesph goes to work
Joseph had his first workout with the Rangers on Tuesday. He has not played in a game since March 10, so the Rangers are starting him with batting practice before getting him into a game.

"This is an opportunity to be a part of a winning culture," Joseph said. "It's something they've already done a great job here establishing -- a winner culture. Be around some veteran players that have a veteran presence around the game and accomplished so much … to learn from some of the best."

Video: Sullivan discusses the Rangers claiming Joseph

Rough day for Fister
Doug Fister lasted just 2 1/3 innings in Tuesday's 10-0 loss to the White Sox. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits and threw 57 pitches. He then went to the bullpen to get his pitch count up to the 90-95 range.

"Definitely a rough one," Fister said. "The name of the game is I pitch to contact, and I'm going to give up hits. But I've got to limit them. That's too many, a little too high with my pitches and a little too flat."

Video: TEX@CWS: Fister freezes Moncada in the 1st inning

Several hits Fister allowed were ground balls through the infield or bloops into the outfield, but he said that doesn't matter.

"I need to make better pitches and execute," Fister said. "Despite all the results, it's right there. It just needs fine-tuning."

Rangers beat 
• Right-hander Tony Barnette reported improvement with the stiffness in his lower back.

"I don't foresee it being a lingering issue," Barnette said.

• Left-hander Anthony Gose threw batting practice on Tuesday. He has yet to pitch in a Cactus League game for the Rangers since being reacquired from the Astros.

• Right-hander Keone Kela threw a scoreless inning, despite allowing two hits and a walk. He is scheduled to pitch again Wednesday against the Cubs, as the Rangers want to see him pitch in back-to-back games.

• Right-hander Kevin Jepsen also pitched a scoreless inning, after he had tossed a scoreless frame Monday night against the Rockies. He has allowed one run in 9 1/3 innings this spring.

• Outfielder Nomar Mazara had two of the Rangers' three hits. He has nine hits in his last 22 at-bats and is hitting .333 this spring.

Up next
Left-hander Matt Moore will start for the Rangers against the Cubs at 3:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday in Surprise, live on MLB.TV and MLB Network. The Cubs are scheduled to start Yu Darvish, who pitched for the Rangers from 2012-17. Jesse Chavez is also expected to pitch for the Rangers.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Tim Lincecum