Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 7/16/12

By now almost all fantasy gamers know of Tim Lincecum‘s struggles this year. If you personally own him you have been dealing with the curious case of Tim Lincecum. Tim Lincecum is a 27 year old two time CY Young winning pitcher for the San Francisco Giants with career numbers of 72-51 with a 3.25 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 1242 Ks and 430 BB. While his numbers have been trending slightly downwards since the 08-09 season he was generally recongized as a top ten starting pitcher in all of baseball coming into this season.  This year he has been anything but however. In the first half of the season he went 3-10 with a 6.42 ERA, 1.58 WHIP 104 Ks and 50 BBs which statistically made him the worst pitcher in baseball.  He has had one start, post All Star break, which was very promising going 8 innnings with no earned runs 11Ks and only 1 BB.  However this start was at home against the hapless Houston Astros so it could be fools gold rather than a sign of things to come.

Now that I have spoke a little about Tim Lincecum‘s troubles, I’d like to talk about what to do next.  Unfortunately I do not have the answers regarding if he is injured, on the verge of an injury or even if or when he will bounce back.  I do have some recommendations on how to handle him going forward in all league formats and that will be the main focus of this piece.

First up is yearly league formats. In yearly league formats you have four options: starting, trading, benching or even dropping him. In regards to just flat out dropping Lincecum to your waiver wire, I do not recommend this even with his horrid start to the season. Do realize that the size, depth and quality of each league’s waiver wire will vary.  While I don’t personally recommend a drop depending on the quality of replacement on your wire, I could see why you might.  Just take into consideration if he bounces back he may very well already be on another league mates team.  I do fully recommend benching him for the time being and this is mainly why I don’t condone dropping him. You can always bench a player, no reason to let your opponent get their hands on him especially a player with his stellar track record. If he bounces back this year and helps lead your opponent to the championship, you will rue the day you dropped him instead of just benching him. If you have the room as well as a suitable replacement on your roster I would always suggest a benching over a straight drop. As for trading him, on the surface it seems like a great idea. However his market value is so low you mostly likely won’t get much in return. Again much like with dropping him, if traded for very low return and he rebounds you won’t be very happy. It is always hard to sell low but if given the right offer I would strongly consider pulling the trigger.  Your fourth and final option is to start him whether with blind faith every outing or playing opponent match ups, ballparks match ups or at home games only. As his home ERA was 3.43 prior to the All Star break and his road ERA was 9.  This fourth option as well the benching option are the two I personally recommend in yearly leagues with a slight nod to the benching option because as shown by his overall numbers he has not been a good play in general so far this season.

If you are in a dynasty/keeper league what to do with him is a little more complicated.  I personally own him in a twenty team ten player keeper league, so hopefully I can give you a little extra insight into the situation. As well as how I am personally handling the keeper situation.  You have five options in a keeper or dynasty league: starting, trading, benching or dropping him as well as the added decision of keeping him or dropping him when your league rules define you must enter your keepers.  Let me first say just like in a yearly league I would never just flat out drop him.  In a keeper league I feel even stronger about not dropping him as he is just to valuable as a keeper asset and even a possible trade asset whether in season or off season, pre keepers.  As for the benching option, just like in yearly formats I recommend this for the time being.  He is hurting every ones lineup when played and unless you just don’t have a quality option off the bench it has come to a point where it is extremely hard to just plug him in your lineup every start.  He can be a decent match up play and is much stronger at home than on the road but as his overall numbers indicate he hasn’t been a good play anywhere in general.  Now for trading him in a keeper league.  In a keeper league he may have slightly more trade value than he does in a yearly league.  If you are out of it this year you could possibly trade him to a contender for a few nice prospects or up and coming young players. Even to another owner in general who is expecting a bounce back next year who may keep him in anticipation of this.  In keeper and dynasty leagues whatever you decided to do with him for the remainder of the year, you will have a very big decision when it comes time for keepers.  Depending on your format and number of keepers he could be flat out not kept.  While I am personally going to keep him, If you choose not to keep him I would advise you to try and trade him now for players with possible keeper potential.  This way you have something of potential value instead of nothing to show for what was once a high valued player and keeper commodity. Your last and final option in these leagues is you could keep him.  Personally that is what I will be doing in my keeper league where I own him.  Call it a hunch but I strongly believe a bounce back is coming in the second half and at the very latest next year, he just has to strong of a track record to be given up on just yet. If he has another year like this year, next year, I will strongly consider dropping him come keeper time but I am willing to roll the dice and give him one more chance. The potential bounce back reward is just to enticing in my eyes.

Now that I have given you options to consider for both yearly and keeper/dynasty formats and also personally how I will handling the situation come keeper time in my keeper league, what will you be doing?  In all formats what to do going forward is no easy decision and hopefully I have given you some good recommendations as well as personal keeper insight into what another owner will be doing with him come keeper time.  This is the game we play in and many times can be the difference between a championship or having to wait till next year.  I would love to hear your plan going or forward as well as keeper wise in the comments or on twitter @FantasyzrTJ

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