SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Tim Lincecum sought out his father’s advice this offseason. It wasn’t easy.
The Giants right-hander wants to show that his last three seasons were an aberration. That he has fixed the issues in his delivery and mechanics that took him out of the rotation last season.
In search of answers, Lincecum returned home to suburban Seattle in the offseason and a couple of weeks after the World Series, went to work with the guy whom he says knows his mechanics better than himself, his father Chris.
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They started a throwing regimen in which Lincecum threw a total of 50 sessions and did intensive drills.
”It’s a total 180 for me. I’ve never gotten after it like that in an offseason before, throwing as often as I did, as rigorously as I did,” Lincecum said. ”I didn’t feel like my mechanics were in a place where I could rely on them. They’ve been kind of out of whack for a while now.”
In listening more to his father’s advice, Lincecum re-bonded emotionally with Chris, rebuilding a relationship with him that had not been so close in recent years.
Admitting that both are stubborn, Lincecum realized that he needed his father to help his career and that it was freeing and humbling to be able to level with Chris. That had become laborious to Lincecum, who found it hard to explain a bad outing to his dad, the one who taught him how to pitch.
”He’s always been the one that kind of reaffirmed, re-ignites that idea of `our mechanics,’ Lincecum said. ”I went to him. That was tough. It’s like a kid with a bad report card saying `I tried to do it on my own.’ And they’re there to remind you that it’s never going to be that way.
”I’m just going to hear him out and know where he’s coming from is a place of being a father and caring and also being scared, too.”
It wasn’t immediately apparent what exactly Lincecum changed or didn’t change, as he was not among the Giants pitchers to throw a bullpen session on the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers Thursday. But perhaps one sign that Lincecum is taking an old approach is his return to having long hair, one of the staples of his look until last season.
Chris Lincecum is with his son for the next month at spring training.
”The most important thing out of this is it’s great to see he and his dad back and getting reunited,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ”I’m sure there’s a sense of comfort there with all the time that his dad has spent with him, and Timmy’s trying to get on track. If his dad can help out, that’s great. We’re all for it.”
Bochy feels Lincecum is primed to bounce back. Lincecum did toss a no-hitter last season, one of his 12 wins.
Notes: Ace Madison Bumgarner threw his first bullpen session since last season, when he was named World Series Most Valuable Player. Bochy didn’t directly name Bumgarner as the opening day starter, but suggested as much, saying he’s ”going the second game, too.” … RHP Matt Cain, one of the Giants’ top starting pitchers in their championship seasons of 2010 and 2012, will have his throwing routine adjusted as he continues his comeback from elbow and ankle surgeries that hampered and cut short his 2014 season. Cain will throw bullpen sessions, but not every other day to start spring training. … Reliever Sergio Romo is dealing with right shoulder soreness and won’t throw as much early in camp. ”We don’t foresee any major setback there,” Bochy said. … Former catcher Eli Whiteside, who recently retired after spurning a minor-league contract from the Atlanta Braves, will be the Giants’ bullpen catcher this season. The 35-year-old was with the Giants from 2009 to 2012.