Lincecum pushed back again, ineligible for Rangers debut until late May

Tim Lincecum's highly-anticipated return to the majors has been pushed back once again.

The Texas Rangers transferred the right-hander to the 60-day disabled list Sunday, meaning the earliest he can be activated is May 28.

Lincecum agreed to a minor-league deal with the club in early March with the intention of making a comeback as a reliever. He dealt with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand that delayed his progress and has yet to face live hitters. While he expressed some disappointment with having to wait, he understands the Rangers' decision.

"It's frustrating, but they're protecting themselves and giving me enough time in case there are bumps in the road," Lincecum said, according to T.R. Sullivan of "It's kind of the safe play. It alleviates the pressure on me and keeps them from having to play the waiting game."

The two-time Cy Young winner last pitched in the majors in 2016, making nine starts with the Los Angeles Angels and posting a 9.16 ERA and 2.37 WHIP.

"He's got to throw bullpens, he's got to throw batting practice, he has to have a spring training," manager Jeff Banister said. "We'll see how it plays out, but we've got an opportunity to look at this to the point where we can make out a schedule that works for him."

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