by Hannah Miller, special to 22gigantes.com
It might be a bit hard to think that a two-time Cy Young Award winner still in his 20s might not be an integral part of a team’s playoff push. However, Tim Lincecum has had an overall rough 2012 campaign. In fact, during the first half of the season, he was one of the worst starting pitchers in all of baseball.
Even though he has turned it around in the second half of the season, it remains to be seen just how the Giants will use him in the playoffs. With that being said, he still has been at best the 4th best starting pitcher for San Francisco, and even that is debatable.
The main concern with Lincecum all season long has been his poor command and control of the strike zone. He is still striking people out at a solid rate, but he has been roughed up time and time again.
Despite having such a terrible season (10-15, 5.15 ERA, 1.483 WHIP), his second half production has been mostly solid. Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong have led the Giants all season long, but Lincecum brings playoff experience and the ability to be great to the table. Both Cain and Bumgarner pitched well in the World Series run a few years ago, but Lincecum should still be considered as a Game 3 or 4 starter in the playoffs. Vogelsong does not have the playoff experience, and Barry Zito does not have the commanding stuff that usually helps pitchers excel in the playoffs.
At the beginning of the season, it seemed like there was no hope for Lincecum in 2012. People thought he might be hurt due to the drop in velocity, but it really was more of a mechanical issue. He was up in the zone way too much, and he paid dearly for it.
It will be hard for the Giants to not give the guy who won the clinching World Series game in 2010 a chance to replicate that playoff magic. His numbers don’t suggest it, but Lincecum should get a chance to start in every playoff series the Giants end up playing.
Hannah Miller is a guest writer for Fanduel.com. Check them out for daily fantasy football games for money.
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