Found January 14, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Tim-lincecum-seen-prior
Freak occurrence, or freak out? Those are the two perspectives weighing on the collective mind of Giants management and its fans regarding "The Freak" Tim Lincecum. The diminutive lefty entered the 2012 campaign off a staggering four-year run, averaging over 220 innings per season with a 2.81 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in this span. His aptitude was so venerable that few batted an eye when Lincecum declined a five-year extension last offseason worth nearly $100 million. After all, since entering the league in 2007, the then-27-year-old already laid claim to four All-Star appearances, two Cy Young Awards and a World Series ring. Though the San Francisco starting rotation boasted depth with formidable arms in Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong, Lincecum was unquestionably the front of the staff, and to a greater extent, the face of the franchise. Alas, a year later, this rejection spews audacity rather than astuteness. For 2012 brought unexpected challenges to Lincecum, going from Opening Day starter to watching the World Series from the bullpen. While he played a key role as a reliever in the Giants' October run, the change of scenery illustrated the precipitous drop in performance, as Lincecum finished the regular season with a 10-15 record in 186 innings, owning a league-worst 5.18 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. By almost every hardball measurement, Lincecum was one of the worst pitchers on the diamond last season. Well, almost every measurement. Make no mistake, Lincecum's presence on the mound was bad, but it wasn't as bad as believed. At least that's the argument presented by most advanced statistics. Here is a breakdown of Lincecum's production, as well as his output from the previous three years to add context, elucidated in popular sabermetric figures: Tim Lincecum Pitching Stats fsMedia.launchInlineFlash(".fs-table"); Year K/9 BB/9 LOB% BABIP ERA FIP xFIP 2009 10.42 2.72 75.9 .282 2.48 2.34 2.83 2010 9.79 3.22 76.5 .310 3.43 3.15 3.09 2011 9.12 3.57 78.5 .281 2.74 3.17 3.36 2012 9.19 4.35 67.8 .309 5.18 4.18 3.82 .fs-table { float: right; width: 100%; /*width: 100%;*/ background-color: #ffffff; border-top: 1px solid #bac0c4; } .fs-table h2 { /*background-color: yellow;*/ } .fs-table .fs-accent { width: 100%; /*width:100%;*/ /*background-color: orange;*/ } .fs-table table th { background-color: #dedede; /*background-color: #ffffff;*/ } Lincecum's strikeout rate remained relatively in check, and was good enough for sixth-best in the majors. This elevated punch-out frequency makes Lincecum's left on base percentage puzzling, as pitchers that rack up the Ks are likely to have a calculation in the mid-70s in this category, implying the starter was hit with some tough breaks last campaign. Moreover, his .309 BABIP, 4.18 FIP and 3.82 xFIP all indicate Lincecum's yield was the byproduct of porous team defense and bad luck. The difference between his ERA and FIP is especially jarring, as only Kansas City's Luke Hochevar had a greater variance in these numbers. By these barometers, it appears a lack of providence was the root of Lincecum's quagmire. However, don't misconstrue these instruments as a forecast for clearer skies in 2013. While Lincecum was the victim of misfortune last year, he was far from faultless. Lincecum's walk rate skyrocketed, posting a 4.35 BB/9 versus his previous three-year average of 3.20. Also shooting through the atmosphere were long balls from the opposition, as Lincecum's admission of homers nearly doubled, surrendering 1.1 bombs per nine innings compared to a 0.6 mark from 2009-11. A lack of control was the catalyst for both these pitfalls, the upshot of a delayed release point in deteriorating pitching mechanics. Luckily for Giants fans, this was an arena that Lincecum noticeably improved in the last few months of the season, which should alleviate some apprehension heading into spring training. Unfortunately, what is a concern is Lincecum's velocity, or lack thereof. Below is Lincecum's average speed for his arsenal of pitches: Lincecum Pitch Speed fsMedia.launchInlineFlash(".fs-table"); Year vFastball vTwo-Seam vSlider vCurve vChangeup 2010 91.2 91.3 84.2 78.5 83.7 2011 92.2 91.7 84.8 78.5 83.6 2012 90.4 90.2 83.4 77.9 83.2 .fs-table { float: right; width: 100%; /*width: 100%;*/ background-color: #ffffff; border-top: 1px solid #bac0c4; } .fs-table h2 { /*background-color: yellow;*/ } .fs-table .fs-accent { width: 100%; /*width:100%;*/ /*background-color: orange;*/ } .fs-table table th { background-color: #dedede; /*background-color: #ffffff;*/ } These decreases may seem miniscule, but in truth raise a red flag. Turning 29 years old in June, Lincecum's arm strength should be hitting its pinnacle, not descending from the mountain. There are two conjectures on opposite ends of the spectrum for this reduction on the radar gun. The first is in regards to Lincecum's weight. Prior to the 2012 season, Lincecum drastically altered his eating habits and workout regime, reportedly losing thirty pounds in the offseason. While dropping a few LBs is usually viewed in a positive light, Lincecum's already-Lilliputian stature made this diet problematic. Reportedly, Lincecum's current offseason endeavor is to reclaim some of this weight and, as a corollary, recover his lost velocity. Yet there's a more disconcerting hypothesis for Lincecum's regression, and in this theory, there's no rejuvenation. Though he's entering just his seventh season in the Show, Lincecum has already accumulated over 1,275 innings as a professional. That's quite the mileage on the odometer for a man of his age. Alarming as the rationale may seem, perhaps Lincecum's star has shined so bright that it's already burning out. So what's the verdict on Lincecum's 2013 projection? As dour as the previous paragraph appeared, still believe the lefty has some gas left in the tank. If he can add some bulk and receive enhanced assistance in the field, Lincecum can revive his All-Star form. Yet this recovery is far from a sure-thing, making "The Freak" a must-watch attraction this season.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
LIVING LARGE

Barry Bonds selling mansion for $25M

Barry Bonds is selling his Beverly Hills mansion for $25 million. The compound is enormous. Check out what it looks like.

SF Giants Rumors: Wilson, WBC, Posey Deal, Lincecum Deal, and Arbitration

A quick followup to yesterday’s news about the New York Mets showing strong interest in Brian Wilson. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says (via Twitter) the San Francisco Giants are willing to offer Wilson a big league deal, and reports say the Mets aren’t.   World Baseball Classic Schulman also broke the news that Buster Posey will not play in the World Baseball...

Tim Lincecum Needs to Learn How to Pitch, Not Throw

Tim Lincecum‘s resume contains the following items: 2 time Cy Young award winner, 4 time All-Star and twice World Series Champion. With all the achievements over the last 5 seasons, he was relegated to a long relief once the Giants made the playoffs because he was no longer effective as a starter. Lincecum’s problem is he can no longer just throw the ball across the plate and...

SF Giants Rumors: Brian Wilson Doing Private Workouts, Giants Players in the World Baseball Classic

Bob Nightengale of USA Today says (via Twitter) the New York Mets are showing strong interest San Francisco Giants former closer Brian Wilson. Mets GM Sandy Alderson watched Wilson in a private workout Saturday in Los Angeles. Mike Puma of the New York Post says Alderson confirmed that he did watch Wilson at UCLA. Alderson also says he’s “not sure” if the Mets will extend...

The Difference Pitching on the Edge Makes

Yesterday, Jeff Zimmerman examined how Tim Lincecum‘s performance has depended to some extent on his ability to pitch to the edges of the plate. Last year, Lincecum was one of the worst starters in the game in terms of the percentage of his pitches thrown to the black. Coincidently (or not so coincidently), Lincecum suffered through his worst season as a professional. As with many...

Ryan Vogelsong elected to Team USA

By Eric Risberg, AP The Sports Xchange and Yahoo! Sports have reported that Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants has made the starting rotation of Team USA for this year’s World Baseball Classic. This is the first time Vogelsong has made such an honor and is the only Giant to join this year’s team after he posted a 3.37 ERA, a career-best 14-9 record and a 1.212 WHIP. His...

Brian Wilson & beard gaining interest across the league

According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Giants are interested in offering a major league contract to pitcher Brian Wilson. The New York Mets have also expressed interest in Wilson, but that interest could be limited to a minor league contract. Wilson, who nearly missed the entire 2012 season after [...]

Buster Posey, The Giants, And A Long-Term Deal

Buster Posey will be a San Francisco Giant at least through the end of the 2016 season. The upcoming season will be his first as an arbitration-eligible player. He’ll have three more of those before he becomes a free agent. That is, unless Posey and the Giants agree to a long-term contract that buys out one or more of his free-agent years. Should Posey commit to the Giants long...

Mets Considering Brian Wilson, Have Scouted Him

Brian Wilson has attracted a lot of attention since the San Francisco Giants non-tendered him.  However, he has yet to land with his new team.  The former Giants' closer is looking for a similar role with another team.  One team that may fit the bill is the New York Mets. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Wilson has thrown for the...

Hey It's Me! The Best Giants Fan in the History of Mankind!

"Welcome back to GiantsTalk on KOMG, the Bay Area's All Sports Leader-- we know sports so you don't have to." "I'm your host Denny Stone and we talk San Francisco Giants 8 hours night every Monday through Friday from 7:30PM to 3:30AM in the morning on sports talk KOMG. "Let's take our first call this evening, and it's Norm from Hayward...

Mets Likely Won’t Extend Brian Wilson An Offer

Sandy Alderson watched former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson in a private workout Saturday, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. However, Mike Puma of the New York Post confirmed the Mets are not likely to pursue the one-time closer, “Alderson said he’s not sure the Mets will extend Wilson an offer.” Fueling that is the fact Wilson wants a major league...

Mets work out free-agent closer Wilson

Free agent closer Brian Wilson reportedly participated in a private workout for the New York Mets and general manager Sandy Alderson on Saturday. According to USA Today, Alderson watched Wilson's workout, which is believed to have taken place at UCLA. The former Giants closer missed most of the 2012 season after playing in only two games and undergoing Tommy John surgery...

Puma: Mets GM not sure if team will extend Brian Wilson an offer

Earlier today Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that the Mets were showing strong interest in former Giants closer Brian Wilson. #bbpBox_290486546476462081 a { text-decoration:none; color:#AD2121; }#bbpBox_290486546476462081 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } The New York #Mets are showing strong interest in former #SFGiants closer Brian Wilson. GM Sandy Alderson watched...

2013 fantasy baseball draft guide index

The FOXSports.com fantasy department's full list of 2013 fantasy baseball draft articles, rankings, videos, mock drafts and more. Preseason 2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings by Position Top 10 DH / Utility (Feb. 20) Top 25 Relief Pitchers/Closers (Feb. 20) Top 50 Starting Pitchers (Feb. 20) Top 50 Outfielders (Feb. 13) Top 20 Third Basemen (Feb. 6) Top 20 Shortstop (Feb. 6)...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.