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Thread: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

      
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    Default Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates
    Top pitching prospect, expected to arrive in 2010, aims for full year
    Sunday, January 24, 2010
    By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Jason Sipes/Altoona CurveThe biggest number for Brad Lincoln in 2009: 1361/3 innings pitched between Class AA Altoona and Class AAA Indianapolis.Brad Lincoln has come -- and gone -- a long way as the Pirates' top pitching prospect, from missing all of 2007 to Tommy John elbow surgery, to traveling to Europe last fall and winning the gold-medal game of the World Cup for the United States.

    Now, management is sending strong signals that he will arrive in Pittsburgh, likely after a brief trip back to Class AAA Indianapolis.

    "It's been on my mind the whole offseason," Lincoln said. "It's my goal to work my way up and show these guys that I deserve to be there. It's been my dream my whole life, from when I was a kid to the Tommy John to now. And I hope to fulfill it this year."

    Meaning the full year, as he quickly clarified. Management's projection is that the one rotation vacancy will come down to Kevin Hart or Daniel McCutchen, but Lincoln has not been ruled out.

    "I'm going to go in thinking I want to make the team out of the spring," Lincoln said. "I don't want to wait for a midseason call-up. I've put in hours every day, on the field and in the gym, and I'm doing that because I want to show them that's what I deserve."

    Lincoln, 24, made progress in 2009, rising from Class AA Altoona to Indianapolis, but the numbers make for a tough read: He was 1-5 with a 2.28 ERA for Altoona, 6-2 with a 4.70 ERA for Indianapolis, meaning his record was deceiving at each stop. What the Pirates liked most: He pitched 1361/3 innings, showing he is all the way back from surgery, and had good control, with 107 strikeouts and 28 walks.

    On the less quantifiable level, he has a sound fastball in the 92-mph range, a sweeping curveball, and his work ethic and competitiveness draw some of the strongest praise in the system. Still, management would welcome seeing one solid stretch at Indianapolis before a promotion.

    Oh, and about Europe: Lincoln was a late choice by USA Baseball for its starting rotation, and he went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA, including 41/3 innings of relief -- three runs, six hits -- in the 10-5 championship rout of Cuba in Nettuno, Italy.

    "A great time," Lincoln called it. "To be able to play games like that ... it was all about winning, and it was a blast."

    Buried treasure
    New reliever Brendan Donnelly's brief visit to Pittsburgh for his signing Tuesday was enough to prompt some in management to forecast he could take a leadership role, in the mold of Doug Mientkiewicz. That, from listening to Donnelly, is something he would embrace: "I've learned from some of the best, going back to Troy Percival, and he learned from Lee Smith. And I know that there's a certain way you carry yourself. Are you just happy to be in the big leagues? Well, that's not good enough. You have to want to win."

    Donnelly's long-tossing partner in the offseason: John Grabow.

    Some contracts have club options just for show, with the team never seriously considering exercising it. The same cannot be said of Octavio Dotel's 2011 option worth $4.5 million, which the Pirates would welcome exercising if he performs well as closer.

    Conspicuously absent from Neal Huntington's declared "foursome" for the bullpen -- Dotel, Donnelly, Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek -- was the lone left-hander, Javier Lopez, despite his major league contract. The Pirates remain open to the idea of going without a lefty should Lopez falter.

    Rule 5 draft pick John Raynor, a fleet-footed outfielder, has no easy path toward cracking the roster, which has eight candidates for four or five openings. What can he bring? How about a .383 career on-base percentage in the minors, as well as a steal every four games? "Getting on base is my focus, the way I inflict harm on the other team," Raynor said. "Walk, hit ... whatever it takes."

    The Pirates' Winter Caravan begins its five-day, 16-city, three-state trek with a kickoff today at Seven Springs, 5-8 p.m. Players appearing include Andrew McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf, Garrett Jones, Delwyn Young, Meek and Hart.

    Twenty-four days until pitchers and catchers report



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10024...#ixzz0dX9QCgO2
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Morning links: Lincoln's fire
    By Dejan Kovacevic | 12:40 a.m. Sunday

    Scouts use a category called "makeup," a fairly vague term meant to measure an athlete's character, commitment and the like.

    One can hear all kinds of things about makeup as relates to just about every prospect in the Pirates' system, with the significant exception of Brad Lincoln: He is an open and shut case, not even worth analyzing in that regard. If you press them for more on the topic, you will hear that he is a manic workaholic, serious almost all the time, as competitive off the mound as on it.

    That hardly makes his major league potential an open and shut case, obviously, especially as one weighs some inconsistencies since returning from Tommy John surgery. But he still is expected to make it to Pittsburgh sometime in 2010 and, as you will read and see in our Hot Stove and accompanying video, Lincoln would prefer that sometime means the full season
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    He won't spend the whole season here just for the fact that they can control him an extra year by keeping him in the minors for a month or two.

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    This team desperately needs a legit pitching stud to emerge asap. I so hope Lincoln is the man.

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoman View Post
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    This team desperately needs a legit pitching stud to emerge asap. I so hope Lincoln is the man.
    I like Lincoln a lot...he's a great guy. I've had chances to talk to him for an hour or so before...but honestly I dont think he's that legit stud pitcher you're talking about. He could be a good rotation guy, but I just dont think he's a #1 or even #2 starter.
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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    I like Lincoln a lot...he's a great guy. I've had chances to talk to him for an hour or so before...but honestly I dont think he's that legit stud pitcher you're talking about. He could be a good rotation guy, but I just dont think he's a #1 or even #2 starter.
    I agree.

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    I don't think he's an ace either. Could he develop into one? Maybe, but the odds are against it.

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Lincoln's AAA numbers probably should have been better than they looked last year (3.85 FIP), but his Team USA numbers probably should have been a lot worse. He was probably the worst starter on the team. Even ignoring the years of control issue I'd leave the guy in AAA to start the year unless he comes in showing a greatly improved change.

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    Lincoln's AAA numbers probably should have been better than they looked last year (3.85 FIP), but his Team USA numbers probably should have been a lot worse. He was probably the worst starter on the team. Even ignoring the years of control issue I'd leave the guy in AAA to start the year unless he comes in showing a greatly improved change.
    Yeah, I agree with your assessment here. I think that he's a 3-4th starter at best in the MLs. I'd love to be wrong b/c he's a really great guy...IF the Pirates could just have ONE dominant starter to go with Morton, Ohlendorf, Lincoln, and/or Maholm/Duke...we'd be ok I think.
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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Yeah, I agree with your assessment here. I think that he's a 3-4th starter at best in the MLs. I'd love to be wrong b/c he's a really great guy...IF the Pirates could just have ONE dominant starter to go with Morton, Ohlendorf, Lincoln, and/or Maholm/Duke...we'd be ok I think.
    If he can get back consistency and the bite he had before TJ surgery he could be a #2 pitcher IMO.. I think he can get to that point. these past 2 seasons they've really worked with him on specifics. 2008, he was on a strict pitch limit and for most of the season wasn't allowed to do much outside of throwing his fastball. His 2008 stats/numbers IMO are really inconclusive, you can't judge a player by his stats when he's only ab;e to really throw a fastball. Last year, they allowed him to get back on track using the breaking pitches and i wanna say they were working on developing his change up as well along with endurance and stamina. Really, 2009 was more like his first full season back from TJ since it was his first season since sdurgery in which he was allowed to use his entire repertoire.

    2010 should really be the telling year for Lincoln. 2008 was recovery year, 2009 was getting back ion full track year, 2010 should be the year where everything about him gets better or at least that's what we all hope. If not... then, yeah #3-4 type pitcher.

    The other thing I thought was interesting was the part about him being a workaholic, pays attention to detail, he's a smart kid (well not that smart, if he took the time to talk to Benny :d ) ... sounds very Ross Ohlendorf like in a way which means that Lincoln might be someone that Kerrigan could really help out. I wouldn't doubt one bit that Lincoln's delivery, windup and release are all completely off from what they were like pre surgery and it's affected some of his pitches. a good pitching coach can find those flaws

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    If he can get back consistency and the bite he had before TJ surgery he could be a #2 pitcher IMO.. I think he can get to that point. these past 2 seasons they've really worked with him on specifics. 2008, he was on a strict pitch limit and for most of the season wasn't allowed to do much outside of throwing his fastball. His 2008 stats/numbers IMO are really inconclusive, you can't judge a player by his stats when he's only ab;e to really throw a fastball. Last year, they allowed him to get back on track using the breaking pitches and i wanna say they were working on developing his change up as well along with endurance and stamina. Really, 2009 was more like his first full season back from TJ since it was his first season since sdurgery in which he was allowed to use his entire repertoire.

    2010 should really be the telling year for Lincoln. 2008 was recovery year, 2009 was getting back ion full track year, 2010 should be the year where everything about him gets better or at least that's what we all hope. If not... then, yeah #3-4 type pitcher.

    The other thing I thought was interesting was the part about him being a workaholic, pays attention to detail, he's a smart kid [HIGH-LIGHT](well not that smart, if he took the time to talk to Benny :d )[/HIGH-LIGHT] ... sounds very Ross Ohlendorf like in a way which means that Lincoln might be someone that Kerrigan could really help out. I wouldn't doubt one bit that Lincoln's delivery, windup and release are all completely off from what they were like pre surgery and it's affected some of his pitches. a good pitching coach can find those flaws


    Yeah I had a chance during a game last year to sit and talk to him for a couple hours. He sat right next to my wife and I and even came down a row to sit and talk to us while using the radar gun etc in a game he wasn't pitching in. He's a really awesome guy and I do hope he becomes a dominant starter.
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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Yeah I had a chance during a game last year to sit and talk to him for a couple hours. He sat right next to my wife and I and even came down a row to sit and talk to us while using the radar gun etc in a game he wasn't pitching in. He's a really awesome guy and I do hope he becomes a dominant starter.
    He was probably just hitting on your wife!!!

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    He was probably just hitting on your wife!!!


    Probably. Then again my wife said that his change-up was lacking bite and that he'd have to work on that to really have a chance at being a good ML starting pitcher...NO JOKE. He just laughed and thanked her for the advice.
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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Probably. Then again my wife said that his change-up was lacking bite and that he'd have to work on that to really have a chance at being a good ML starting pitcher...NO JOKE. He just laughed and thanked her for the advice.
    I'd laugh too. Change up lacked bite? The key to a good change up is all in the delivery and release, making the batter think it's a fastball. His curve and fastball have lost a lot of bite and that's what concerns me with Lincoln but I also think it has to do with the TJ. not the injury itself but something in his mechanics naturally was altered where the bite and movement isn't there. He's still got really good control, he never lost that but his K rates have really dipped and that's because his pitches are lacking that swing and miss ability they had pre-injury.

    He has to get that K/9 back up into the 7.8 range that it was in AA which is a possibility and get the BB/9 back down underneath 2.. actually if he just duplicates his stat line from AA at AAA that will be a really great sign. Low Whip, average K/9, lower H/9, low ERA, low HR/9 .... the possibility of #2-#3 is there but so is the possibility of #3-4

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    Default Re: Hot Stove: Lincoln bold about future with Pirates

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I'd laugh too. Change up lacked bite? The key to a good change up is all in the delivery and release, making the batter think it's a fastball. His curve and fastball have lost a lot of bite and that's what concerns me with Lincoln but I also think it has to do with the TJ. not the injury itself but something in his mechanics naturally was altered where the bite and movement isn't there. He's still got really good control, he never lost that but his K rates have really dipped and that's because his pitches are lacking that swing and miss ability they had pre-injury.

    He has to get that K/9 back up into the 7.8 range that it was in AA which is a possibility and get the BB/9 back down underneath 2.. actually if he just duplicates his stat line from AA at AAA that will be a really great sign. Low Whip, average K/9, lower H/9, low ERA, low HR/9 .... the possibility of #2-#3 is there but so is the possibility of #3-4
    ...I meant to say curve...oops.

    Anyways, Yes, he does have good control...the K/B numbers are very good. However, again, like you've said, it is the k/9 that needs improved.

    Either way, I think we would all generally agree that he IS likely to be a good/decent ML pitcher somewhere in the rotation. Whether he's a stud top of the rotation guy we'll find out...but a good addition to the staff/starting rotation? Likely.
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