Quick: think of the most ominous possible sign for the San Francisco Giants prior to the 2012 season. Done? Yeah, you probably said something similar to "a Tim Lincecum injury" didn't you? Well, the bad news is that the Freak's got "general stiffness" in his back and is missing bullpen sessions as a result.
The good news is that Bruce Bochy says it's not an issue and that the Giants are getting their injuries out of the way.
"I don't see this as being an issue at all," Bochy said, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Could Lincecum have thrown on Tuesday if he absolutely had to, though? Unfortunately, no.
"It's pretty stiff," Bochy said. "We weren't going to push it."
So, yeah. Pitchers and catchers have been in Spring Training for less than a week and the Giants best player is already dealing with a stiff back. That's not good news.
There's an optimistic spin, we suppose. You can take the Bochy angle and point out that it's better for Tim to have back problems in February and March than it is for Tim to have back problems in August and September.
But this isn't like a sprained toe or a freakish, random sort of injury. It's a back problem. Those are, typically speaking, lingering issues. Lincecum's still young and maybe this won't be a problem by the time baseball chatter really heats up.
That would be good news. For now it's just an alarming sign.