SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It was merely his first bullpen session of Spring Training, but Tim Lincecum passed the eyeball test Friday.
He appeared to repeat his delivery -- a must for any pitcher, but often a challenge for Lincecum, who relies heavily on his physical synchronization to derive the force he applies to each pitch. His body remained aligned as he drove toward home plate, recalling the look he maintained when he won two National League Cy Young Awards, led the league in strikeouts three times and made four All-Star teams.
"The ball was jumping out of his hand more than last year," said Andrew Susac, Lincecum's catcher.
Lincecum's fastball, Susac said, "was getting on me quickly." Susac added that Lincecum's curveball had "good bite" and that the right-hander's split-finger fastball was "back to normal."
Lincecum finished 12-9 last year, his first above-.500 season since 2010. But he was removed from the starting rotation in August and, beginning Aug. 31, made only six relief appearances during the rest of the regular season.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.