Stiff Back Derails Lincecum Throwing Session

RHP Tim Lincecum became the second San Francisco Giants pitcher to be pushed off his Spring Training schedule when his bullpen throwing session was cancelled Feb. 21 because of a stiff back.

Lincecum threw on flat ground for a short period, then left to receive treatment.

The injury is not believed to be serious, and manager Bruce Bochy did not seem concerned.

"Really, it's a pretty common thing in Spring Training," Bochy said. "I don't see this being an issue at all, but it was pretty stiff. We weren't going to push it."

Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young winner, went 13-14 last season with a 2.74 earned run average.

Another Giants starting pitcher, Ryan Vogelsong, is expected to be out of action for about two weeks because of a strained back.

--The Giants are eager to have Buster Posey back behind the plate this season -- and stay there.

Posey tore three ligaments in his left ankle and broke a bone in his lower leg in a home-plate collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins last May, costing the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year most of the 2011 season.

Manager Bruce Bochy plans to take a conservative approach with his catcher, including not having Posey block the plate when a player is trying to score.

"I'll take this out of Buster's hands," Bochy told reporters. "As a manager, that's my job. I certainly don't want people to think he's backing off on his own. It's something we'll work on with him this spring."

Bochy, a former catcher, wants Posey to be "defensive" about his body while still attempting to tag out runners at home plate.

"I've already talked to Buster about this. There are ways to make the tag without putting yourself in jeopardy," Bochy said, according to USA Today. "I don't want him to block the plate right now."

Bochy indicated it's possible Posey could play in the Giants' Cactus League opener March 3 versus the defending NL West champion Arizona.

--RHP Ryan Vogelsong, trying to back up his breakout 2011 All-Star season with another good year, said on Sunday he will be sidelined for at least the first 10 days of spring training with a strained back.

Vogelsong, 34, said he injured himself while working out in the weight room on Feb. 7. He does not believe the injury is serious but wants to be cautious.

"I didn't feel anything real sharp," Vogelsong told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It just stiffened up on me the next day. We want to be careful about it."

Vogelsong, who made his major league debut in 2000, had had an undistinguished pro career until 2011, when he went 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA.

He was rewarded with a two-year, $8.3 million contract in the offseason.

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