Tim Lincecum will be a starter next season, Giants GM says

Dilip Vishwanat/Assocaited Press - “It’s about the team,” said Tim Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young Award winner pitching out of the bullpen.

SAN FRANCISCO — Though two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum will be used out of the bullpen in the World Series, San Francisco Giants General Manager Brian Sabean said Wednesday he does not envision that being the case in 2013, the second year of his two-year, $40 million contract.

“We’ll do what we have him doing in this series,” Sabean said. “Right now he’s in the bullpen. But our plan next year with him in the last year of his contract is him as a starter.”

Lincecum went 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA during the regular season, and has started just once in the postseason — a 42 / 3-inning, four-run outing in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. He relieved starter Barry Zito in the sixth inning of the Giants’ 8-3 victory in Game 1, and was brilliant, retiring all seven men he faced, striking out five. In four postseason relief outings, he has allowed just one run in 102 / 3 innings.

“Right now, it’s not about me,” Lincecum said. “It’s about the team. I’m going to do what they ask.”

Coke may be Tigers’ closer

Tigers Manager Jim Leyland entered the World Series without a public decision about who would close games should Detroit hold a late lead. Jose Valverde may have played his way out of contention in Game 1. He came on in the seventh, struck out Lincecum, and then allowed four consecutive hits and two runs. His postseason totals: nine runs in 22 / 3 innings.

Should the Tigers get in position for a save, Leyland could turn to Phil Coke, who hadn’t allowed a run in seven postseason appearances and saved two games against the New York Yankees.

“You look at the matchups, look at who’s hot at the right time,” Leyland said. “You look at how your guys are throwing. You put it all into play, and then you make your decision.” . . .

Doug Fister, the Tigers’ starter in Game 2, grew up in Merced, Calif., 130 miles to the east of San Francisco, making his first World Series appearance a bit different. “It holds a little bit more special place in my heart, I would say,” he said. “But it doesn’t change what we do on the field.” . . .

Bruce Bochy said Buster Posey will catch the entire series. Posey played first base in one game of the NLCS, and could have been a candidate to serve as the designated hitter when the series shifts to Detroit for Games 3, 4 and 5. . . .

Neither the Tigers nor the Giants made any roster moves prior to the series, keeping the same 25 players they had used in winning their respective league championship series.

— Barry Svrluga

Capps to be a free agent

Minnesota says it will decline a $6 million contract option on right-handed reliever Matt Capps, which will make him eligible for free agency.

The Twins said Wednesday they told Capps they’ll pay him a $250,000 buyout instead of bringing him back. Capps had 45 saves over 2½ seasons in Minnesota after being traded from the Washington Nationals for catcher Wilson Ramos and a minor leaguer, but pitched only four innings after June 15 this year due to shoulder trouble.

 
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