Amaro says new acquisition Lincoln 'has a big arm'

ASSOCIATED PRESS Brad Lincoln was drafted by the Pirates fourth overall in 2006, ahead of Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum and Max Scherzer.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Brad Lincoln was drafted by the Pirates fourth overall in 2006, ahead of Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum and Max Scherzer.
Posted: December 06, 2013

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., like most of his counterparts, is in search of pitching, and he's intrigued by his most recent acquisition, Brad Lincoln.

The 28-year-old righthander was acquired by the Phillies on Tuesday from the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher Erik Kratz and minor-league lefthander Rob Rasmussen. (Rasmussen was acquired by the Phillies from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Michael Young trade in August.)

Lincoln was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and began his career as a starter, but he pitched entirely in relief during parts of two seasons with the Blue Jays.

"He has a big arm and strikeout ability and we think this adds depth to our bullpen," Amaro said Wednesday.

Lincoln split his time last year with Toronto and triple-A Buffalo. In 22 games covering 312/3 innings with the Blue Jays, Lincoln had a 3.98 ERA and 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He also had 6.3 walks per nine innings.

"Those walk totals weren't indicative of his career," Amaro said.

The statistics back that up. In 97 career major-league appearances covering 220 innings, Lincoln has issued 3.2 walks per nine innings.

New catcher coming?

Amaro would not comment on a report by CBSsports.com that the Phillies would sign free-agent catcher Wil Nieves.

"We can't confirm anything, but we do feel we have an opportunity to add more depth there," Amaro said of the catching position.

The 36-year-old Nieves batted .297 in 195 at-bats last season for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

With the winter meetings beginning next week, Amaro expects to be busy.

"We will try to add pitching if we can," Amaro said. "We have had a lot of interesting discussions, from veteran players with high salaries to young players who are controllable."

Pitching won't be the Phillies' only focus.

"While we are looking for pitching, there could be additions to the offensive side," Amaro said. "We will be keeping our eyes open."


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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