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Lincecum declares himself healthy for spring training

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POSTED February 23, 2012 7:54 p.m.

 

 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — San Francisco right-hander Tim Lincecum went all out during his bullpen session Thursday and reported that he felt just fine.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner said he took a precautionary route after feeling some tightness in his back earlier in the week.

Lincecum threw off flat ground on Wednesday and was on target Thursday throwing to Chris Stewart.

"A couple of days ago I felt something in my back and figured why press it," Lincecum said. "I don't have to get ready for another month and a half so I just let my body readjust itself. I threw today and felt great."

Lincecum is coming off his first losing season (13-14, 2.74 ERA) but averaged just under 14 wins a year through his first five seasons and owns a 2.98 career ERA. He has 1,127 strikeouts in 1,028 innings.

"I want to throw more strike ones," Lincecum said. "I want to get back to using my fastball to control the strike zone."

Lincecum said he will only throw fastballs and change-ups during his sessions "until I get my arm speed up to where it needs to be."

Right-hander Brian Wilson, who pitched with a tender right elbow last year, and left-hander Dan Runzler, who had problems in his left side, also threw bullpen sessions to test themselves.

"Brian is getting better each time out," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's on schedule. Dan too."

Infielder Freddy Sanchez, recovering from right shoulder surgery, said he's on track to open the season on the 25-man roster.

Sanchez takes grounders and batting practice but avoids other drills as he heals from a dislocated shoulder that ended last season prematurely in June. "I think it's a lot better than we all expected," Sanchez said.

Bochy said the Giants will continue with their cautious approach with catcher Buster Posey, who took batting practice Thursday and worked on his catching mechanics.

"We have to find out how he responds," Bochy said. "I've said all along that it won't be until the middle of spring before he ramps it up a little more."

Bochy also said he likes all the catchers currently in camp.

"There are some great arms," Bochy said. "It's the best young catching talent I've ever had at camp."

Notes: Wilson flexed his right arm as he passed by Bochy's office before going out to the field. He threw noticeably different from his previous session, throwing harder and with more ease. Among those watching him were Bochy, pitching coach Dave Righetti, VP Dick Tidrow, a former major league pitcher, and head trainer Dave Groeschner. ... IF Joaquin Arias, who signed a minor-league deal with the Giants, arrived early and left before pitchers and catchers took the field. He's with his fifth professional organization and has a .276 average playing in parts of four seasons with the Texas Rangers and New York Mets. ... RHP Heath Hembree continues to receive rave reviews from the Giants. "He has a power arm that few guys have," Bochy said. "It's nice to have someone like him in the system. He can pitch in the big leagues a long time if he stays healthy. It's just a matter of his development."

 

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