The Texas Rangers released pitcher Tim Lincecum on Tuesday, ending for the moment the two-time Cy Young winner's comeback attempt.
Lincecum, signed by the Rangers in March, has been rehabbing from a blister that he suffered in spring training. His 30-day rehab period ended Tuesday, meaning the Rangers had to activate him, keep him on the disabled list indefinitely, send him to the minors or release him.
"Despite best intentions and a lot of hard work, we just didn't feel that it was the right move to bring him up right now,'' Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He was throwing OK, still kind of inconsistent with this command. We just were not of the mindset that it was going to be an upgrade on our relievers who are here. Our bullpen's been very, very good here."
Going into Tuesday night's home game against the Oakland Athletics, Rangers relievers hadn't given up a run in 11 innings and had allowed only three runs over 31⅔ innings in a 10-game stretch with four wins and three saves.
Lincecum, 33, last pitched in the majors in 2016, going 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA in nine starts with the Los Angeles Angels. In 10 appearances this season with Texas' Triple-A affiliate Round Rock, he had allowed eight earned runs over 12⅔ innings for a 5.68 ERA.
"Obviously, we took a calculated risk there in spring training based on what we had seen,'' Daniels said.
Lincecum won the Cy Young Award in 2008 and 2009, made four All-Star teams by age 27 and was a part of three World Series championships with the San Francisco Giants. But his velocity and effectiveness gradually diminished, in large part because of a series of injuries.
The Rangers GM said he had spoken with Lincecum, who he described as being appreciative of the opportunity.
"I think he's planning on heading back to the West Coast and continuing to work,'' Daniels said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.