Four months after being acquired in the Phillies’ only trade of the off-season, relief pitcher Brad Lincoln passed through waivers unclaimed and was sent outright to Triple A Lehigh Valley on Saturday.
Lincoln, a 28-year-old right-hander, had a rough spring training, allowing 13 hits and five walks in 11 2/3 innings. He was the last of eight relievers to appear in a game during the regular season and was tagged for five hits and three runs in 2 1/3 innings over two appearances.
Hitters didn’t have much trouble squaring up Lincoln’s firm but straight four-seam fastball. That’s why Phillies officials want him to work on throwing a two-seam fastball in a less-pressurized environment. A two-seam fastball, or sinker, will move down and in on a right-handed hitter. A little movement might prevent batters from squaring up so many balls.
“He started working on it in spring training, but he didn’t have the confidence in the pitch to feature it in big-league camp because he was trying to win a job,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “He’s got a good resilient arm and he has good life on his fastball. If he can add the two-seamer, it will give him a pitch he can throw in fastball counts when he needs to keep the ball down and get a ground ball. That’s the recommendation.”
The Phillies acquired Lincoln from Toronto in a December trade for catcher Erik Kratz and reliever Rob Rasmussen.
The subtraction of Lincoln means the Phillies have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
The roster spot could come in handy if the Phils need to add a pitcher (David Buchanan?) should A.J. Burnett needs to go on the disabled list (see story).
Jonathan Pettibone took Lincoln’s spot on the active roster and started against Miami Saturday night.