The San Francisco Giants have had an up-and-down season. Despite injuries to key players like Brian Wilson and Pablo Sandoval, the team is in second place in the NL West with a 35-27 record, the third best record in the National League.
Despite that, many fans are asking, what the hell is going on with Tim Lincecum?
So far this year in 13 starts, Lincecumhas a 2-7 record with a 6.00 ERA and 1.58 WHIP (walks+hits per inning pitched). Opponents have a .265 against him and he has already walked 39 batters in 72 innings. All I can say if YIKES!!
Is he hurt? Has he just completely lost it? Should the team rest him or send him down to the minors?
One thing that has always been an interesting test case for stat guys in Major League Baseball is the effect an odd delivery can have on longevity and possible injuries. Lincecum is a) smaller in stature, and b) has always had a “unique” delivery. Again, there is no proof behind those playing a role in his struggles, but it might be part of the problem.
The team is winning despite Lincecum’s horrendous season so it begs the question, what should the Giants do with their former ace? Sending him down to Triple A Fresno to work on his mechanics would be a very viable option. The team has a few options (Eric Hacker, Yusmeiro Petit) that they could call up. Or maybe the next time there is a day off, they could skip Lincecum’s spot in the rotation.
Do I think Tim Lincecum is done? No, I think he still has something left but I do think his best days may be behind him. The seasons when he was competing for the Cy Young look like they have passed, but I think there is still a salvageable pitcher behind this shamble of a season.
Photo Credit: Acordova, via Wikimedia Commons