Texas Rangers

Rangers' Tim Lincecum 'itching' to return but will have to wait until May 28

Tim Lincecum, seen here throwing for MLB scouts in Scottsdale, Ariz., in May 2016, was placed on the 60-day disabled list by the Rangers on Sunday. It gives the right-hander more time to prepare and it gives the Rangers more roster options and protection in case Lincecum struggles to perform during a rehab assignment, which he can start April 28. He's eligible to join the Rangers' roster on May 28.
Tim Lincecum, seen here throwing for MLB scouts in Scottsdale, Ariz., in May 2016, was placed on the 60-day disabled list by the Rangers on Sunday. It gives the right-hander more time to prepare and it gives the Rangers more roster options and protection in case Lincecum struggles to perform during a rehab assignment, which he can start April 28. He's eligible to join the Rangers' roster on May 28. AP Photo

Rangers right-hander Tim Lincecum was placed on the 60-day disabled list, which means he won't be able to join the major league roster until May 28.

Lincecum, who was signed on March 7, has been slowed by a blister on his right middle finger. That has improved, however, and he felt good after a Friday bullpen session. He threw another before Sunday's game.

It's a frustrating move for Lincecum, but he understands the Rangers' thinking.

Watch Texas Rangers right-hander Tim Lincecum throw live batting practice Tuesday. His availability for Opening Day is doubtful, though (video by Jeff Wilson).

"I understand where they're coming from," said Lincecum, who last pitched in the majors in August 2016. "I'm just going to use this time to prepare as much as I can and get ready on the date that I'm active. They're protecting themselves as well giving me ample time if I do have a bump in the road and have to be put back on the DL again. It gives us time to attack it that way as well. I think it's just the safe play. It's frustrating because I'm itching to be out there."

Manager Jeff Banister said Lincecum needs a spring training to prepare.

"We have an opportunity to map out a real schedule that I think benefits him," Banister said.

Lincecum could start a rehab assignment as early as April 28. But if he stays healthy, it's unlikely he'd need a month to prepare or throw 10 innings. He said there are no plans to move from a relief role.

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