Angels encouraged by Lincecum's bullpen

Angels encouraged by Lincecum's bullpen

ANAHEIM -- Tim Lincecum held his first official workout for the Angels on Sunday, throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session from the team's Spring Training facility in Tempe, Ariz.

Lincecum is scheduled to throw a 60-to-70 pitch simulated game on Monday, and from there the team will determine his next step. The 31-year-old right-hander could then begin a rehab assignment, which would consist of at least two starts for Triple-A Salt Lake.

After spending the last two days with 24 active players, a result of first having to slip Lincecum through revocable waivers, the Angels officially optioned Lincecum to Salt Lake on Sunday and selected lefty reliever Lucas Luetge's contract to fill his spot on the active roster.

Right-handed reliever A.J. Achter was designated for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Luetge.

Achter, taken off the 40-man roster a day after veteran right-hander Al Alburquerque suffered the same fate, was claimed off waivers over the offseason and served as a mop-up reliever in two separate stints with the Angels, allowing six runs on 15 hits and three walks in 11 1/3 innings.

Luetge is the third lefty reliever in the Angels' eight-man bullpen, along with Jose Alvarez and Greg Mahle. Luetge, 29, was signed to a Minor League contract in November and held opposing left-handed hitters to a .192/.300/.231 slash line in Triple-A. He has a 4.35 ERA in 111 Major League appearances, all with the Mariners over the last four years.

Lincecum -- signed to a pro-rated $2.5 million contract, which carries up to $1.7 million in additional incentives -- could soon pitch in his first game since June 27, 2015, when he was still with the Giants.

"On video, his motion looks the same," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Lincecum, coming off hip surgery. "The evaluation of his workout was very encouraging. The litmus test is going to be - not even start one when he gets with us. What's he like start five, 10, 15? Tim's worked hard. He won't get out there until he's ready for that challenge."

Worth noting

• Utility infielder Cliff Pennington (left hamstring strain) is expected to be activated by Saturday, the first day he is eligible. Pennington will first get some Minor League at-bats in the next few days and will get the majority of the playing time at shortstop until Andrelton Simmons returns from surgery to his left thumb.

• Second baseman Johnny Giavotella made his first start of the year in the No. 5 spot of the Angels' lineup on Sunday, directly behind Albert Pujols. Giavotella, who made four starts batting fifth last year, was batting .370 over his previous 12 games. First baseman C.J. Cron, dropped to sixth, had three hits in his last 24 at-bats.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.