Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 3/22/13
I'm going to make this very simple. The x-factor for the Giants is a guy that used to be a dominant force, a two-time Cy Young winner, and last year, was just a 1.5 fWAR player at age 28. My x-factor for the San Francisco Giants in 2013 is Tim Lincecum. After Lincecum won the Cy Young in 2008 and 2009, signs immediately began to appear that he was starting to lose his mojo. His walk has risen in each year since 2009. His strikeout rate has dropped, though it's still hovering at over a batter per inning. But last year, Lincecum's struggles came to a head. His fastball velocity was a career-worst 90.4 mph. His 2.11 strikeout to walk rate was downright disappointing, finishing tied for 71st of 88 qualified starters. He also posted far and away the highest home run rate of his career. But there are still signs of brillance from Lincecum. Despite struggling with his command, Lincecum struck out 23% of the batters he faced, the same amount as Zack Greinke and more than teammates Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, as well as upper tier pitchers like Adam Wainwright, Josh Johnson, and Jake Peavy. In the second half of 2012, Lincecum got his BABIP mojo back and allowed just a .720 OPS.  Yeah, it's a bit of a copout to call a player like Tim Lincecum an x-factor. But the man had such a disappointing 2012 season, and he's been so good in the past that you have to at least entertain the option that Lincecum regains some of his previous form, be it as a starter or as a dominant, multi-inning reliever. With him approaching free agency after the season, it'll be extremely interesting to see what ends up happening with Lincecum this season. Giants on TOC End of Season Postmortem 2013 Season Preview You May Say I'm a Dreamer 2013 Burning Question This Is My Nightmare 2013 X-Factor [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Eagles rookie to join Kaepernick in protesting national anthem

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker