Tim Lincecum SP SF 13 Days

Lincecum is expected to begin 2015 in the starting rotation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.While manager Bruce Bochy didn't discuss the issue directly, he reportedly discussed stretching out Ryan Vogelsong and Yusmeiro Petit so they can start "if needed," effectively making Lincecum the fifth starter in the Giants rotation. He began last season a middle member of the rotation, but his numbers warranted a move to the bullpen in late August, and he struggled through the final month of the regular season in that role as well. He finished the campaign with a 12-9 record with a 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, but saw another drop in his fastball velocity, dipping below 90 MPH on average for the first time in his career. It appears the Giants will give Lincecum another chance at a rotation spot in 2015, but with Vogelsong and Petit likely available to take the spot, his leash probably won't be as long as it was in 2014.

Tim Lincecum SP SF 3 Months

Lincecum is currently positioned to begin 2015 as a member of the Giants' rotation, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

In the second-year of a two-year, $35 million deal with the Giants, the trade market is understandably limited for Lincecum at the present time. Further, the Giants' limited depth in the rotation may simple necessitate keeping Lincecum in the mix as a starter, although the team's pursuit of Jon Lester and the potential return of a healthy Matt Cain could ultimately leave Lincecum in a competition with Yusmeiro Petit for the fifth starter role this spring.

Tim Lincecum SP SF 4 Months

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that he expects Lincecum to return to the rotation in 2015, Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports. "[Lincecum], I see him going back in the rotation," Bochy said. "We have a need there. That's fair to say."

Lincecum took another step back in 2014, posting a 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over 155.2 innings, but it sounds like the Giants plan to get the most out of the $18 million they'll be paying him next season. The right-hander continued to struggle after transitioning to the bullpen in August, with a 5.73 ERA in 11 appearances, but a move back to the bullpen could still be an option if Lincecum struggles or a more viable option emerges during spring training.

Tim Lincecum SP SF 4 Months

Lincecum (back) will be available for Game 3 of the World Series, Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reports.

Lincecum exited Wednesday's Game 2 with a lower back injury, but after undergoing an MRI and playing catch, he'll be ready if needed. There still could be some hesitancy to call upon him though, but he's an option nonetheless.

Tim Lincecum SP SF 4 Months

Lincecum was spotted playing catch with the strength coach Thursday, Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Lincecum exited Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday with the back injury and was scheduled for an MRI Thursday. It appears the MRI came back with good results, but a team doctor and the head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner were looking on while he did it, meaning the team is still probably determining whether they will allow him to pitch again this series.

Tim Lincecum SP SF 4 Months

Lincecum (back) will undergo an MRI on his lower back Thursday, John Heyman of CBS Sports reports.

Lincecum departed Wednesday's Game 2 loss in the eight inning after throwing a pitch and feeling tightness in his lower back. The MRI will ultimately determine his status going forward, but it's possible he could be replaced on the roster if the injury turns out to be anything serous. George Kontos, Juan Gutierrez and Erik Cordier could all be potential replacements if Lincecum does, indeed, need to be replaced. For what it's worth, manager Bruce Bochy was encouraged by how Lincecum threw - he retired all five batters he faced - and said after the game that he "[thinks] he'll be fine."

Tim Lincecum SP SF 4 Months

Lincecum exited Wednesday's World Series game with lower back tightness.

Further details of the setback were not provided. Lincecum threw the ball well Wednesday and likely earned himself some innings over the rest of the Series, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to pitch again before next season.

Tim Lincecum SP SF 4 Months

Lincecum was removed from Wednesday's World Series game with an apparent injury.

Lincecum threw 1.2 perfect innings before being forced from the game. It's not exactly clear what type of injury he is dealing with, but expect an update on his status as more details become available.

Tim Lincecum SP SF 5 Months

Lincecum picked up his 12th win of the season Sunday, throwing two innings of shutout relief against the Padres.

It has been an up-and-down season for the former Cy Young award winner. He continued to pitch with less velocity on his pitches than he had during his early years, but he showed flashes of brilliance, such as his second no-hitter in as many seasons. In the end, Lincecum's inconsistency on the mound led to him being demoted to the bullpen down the stretch, where he will stay for the Giants' post-season run. Even though he finished the 2014 season in the pen, it would be hard to imagine the Giants not giving him a shot to start in 2015 considering the large contract they gave him last offseason.

Tim Lincecum SP SF 6 Months

Lincecum surrendered five runs on seven hits over three innings of relief in Saturday's loss to the Dodgers.

Lincecum was asked to enter the game in the second inning after Tim Hudson was lit up by the Dodgers. He didn't fare much better than his predecessor, getting hit hard by the Giants' divisional foe. Lincecum has made three appearances since being demoted to the bullpen, and the results have not been positive (10.50 ERA). Yusmiero Petit has been pitching relatively well since replacing Lincecum in the rotation, so it appears that Lincecum will remain in the long relief role for the near future.