I never thought I’d see the day Tim Lincecum would take over the role as the weak link in the Giants starting rotation.
Make no mistake about it, Lincecum is not the same guy he once was when he won his two National League Cy Young awards or when the Giants won the 2010 World Series. I used to get excited when it was a game he was scheduled to pitch and now I am starting to dread a start from him the way I would dread one from Barry Zito from 2007-2011.
Lincecum currently shoulders a 2-7 record on the season and an ERA of 6.00 in 13 starts so far in 2012. His latest loss came yesterday in a 5-0 shutout by the Rangers in front of another sellout crowd at AT&T Park.
I wish I could say I knew what has happened to him. I don’ t think anyone knows but Lincecum himself. His velocity and command haven’t been what they were,but another area I can point to is the contract extension Matt Cain received before the season started. Lincecum is looking for a long term deal like Cain got and it’s unclear whether or not he will get it. Lincecum will be a free agent following next season and the Giants have to wonder if they have gotten all they can out of him.
Is it possible they may trade before he becomes a free agent? That depends on how he pitches now. He has trade value now but it’s uncertain if that value remains if he continues to pitch as shitty as he has this season. I’m not saying they should trade him because every Giants fan will lose their shit if I did, but they need to figure something out with him. Much like they did in 2010 when he had a dismal August and he made a couple changes which included doing the long toss with Zito like he used to do. He went on to have a stellar September and was key in helping the Giants win the World Series.
Is it possible he’s just having an off year? Absolutely, all pitchers have at least one bad season. After all, he still has a career 71-47 record and has won two NL Cy Young awards as mentioned before. But remember he is on a team that is looking up at the hated Dodgers in the NL West standings and it’s looking as though the Giants need all that they can to possibly catch them, much like they did the Padres in 2010 (although their choke-job also helped,too!).
Lincecum is projected to have a 5-19 record by season’s end as of right now and if he wants a new deal from the Giants, something has to change. May I suggest perhaps a haircut,Timmy? I hear the bald look is in!