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View Full Version : What's wrong with Tim Lincecum?



Blitz Dorsey
05-25-2012, 10:26 PM
I'll always wonder "What could have been" if the Reds had drafted Tim Lincecum like many of us expected/hoped in the '06 draft instead of Drew Stubbs. Lincecum becomes the youngest player in MLB history to win two Cy Young awards and it looked like a move that the Reds would regret for ages.

However, after a down year last season (that many wrote off as an aberration and/or fatigue from pitching so much during the WS championship year of 2010) Lincecum has been one of the worst starters in the NL more than 1/4th of the way through the season.

His ERA is now up to 6.41. He used to be one of the hardest guys to hit in the league, but has given up 57 hits in 53.1 innings. He does have 58 strikeouts, but that's nothing impressive for his standards. He's also walked a whopping 28.

For those that follow the Giants (or follow Lincecum closer than I) has he lost velocity? What's the deal here? I can't believe how quickly he has seemingly gone from one of the top 3 pitchers in baseball to (statistically) one of the worst in the NL. And we're going on a full 1.5 years of him being bad. I still think he will turn it around and will at least be good/above average, but he's trending downward and then some. Any explanation? Any guesses? Theories?

membengal
05-25-2012, 10:28 PM
I drafted him in fantasy baseball this year.

Tornon
05-25-2012, 10:33 PM
I heard that he said it hurts his elbow too much when he throws his slider so he had to stop throwing it. That kinda shoots up red flags for me, in that he's missing a pitch he used to throw and that he could possibly be injured

Edit: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/tim-lincecum-didn-t-throw-slider-spring-training-145050974.html

DGullett35
05-25-2012, 10:36 PM
Ive heard his velocity has dropped in each of the last 3 years although not enough to warrant his play this year. Seems like he has fallen in love with the splitter. I think the same thing has happened to Ubaldo Jiminez. Roger Clemens was one of the few players that could throw that pitch year in and year out

dougdirt
05-25-2012, 10:41 PM
His fastball velocity is down and has dropped nearly every year since he made his debut. Here is his FB velocity since 2007: 93.6, 94, 92.4, 91.2, 92.2, 89.9.

He has thrown more sliders in each of the last two seasons than ever before and less curveballs than ever each of the last two seasons.

One interesting thing though, as his fastball has lost veloctiy, his change up has stayed exactly the same, never lower than 83.1 MPH on average and never higher than 83.7 MPH on average.

A .353 BABIP isn't helping him and his LOB rate is an insane 59.3% when league average is over 70%. His FIP is 2.94 this season, XFIP is 3.53. So we should expect a rebound of sorts from him assuming he doesn't get injured.

Still, ever declining velocity is a big red flag.

membengal
05-25-2012, 10:53 PM
My explanation was shorter.

Blitz Dorsey
05-25-2012, 10:57 PM
His fastball velocity is down and has dropped nearly every year since he made his debut. Here is his FB velocity since 2007: 93.6, 94, 92.4, 91.2, 92.2, 89.9.

He has thrown more sliders in each of the last two seasons than ever before and less curveballs than ever each of the last two seasons.

One interesting thing though, as his fastball has lost veloctiy, his change up has stayed exactly the same, never lower than 83.1 MPH on average and never higher than 83.7 MPH on average.

A .353 BABIP isn't helping him and his LOB rate is an insane 59.3% when league average is over 70%. His FIP is 2.94 this season, XFIP is 3.53. So we should expect a rebound of sorts from him assuming he doesn't get injured.

Still, ever declining velocity is a big red flag.

Doug knocking it out of the park with detailed analysis. Nicely done, thanks. Lincecum's rapid decline makes a lot of sense after reading what you wrote.

The Operator
05-25-2012, 11:36 PM
My first guess would be that he's a short right-hander. Add that to his weird delivery and throwing a ton of innings at a young age, it's cause for concern.

_Sir_Charles_
05-25-2012, 11:51 PM
My explanation was shorter.

LOL :lol:

kaldaniels
05-26-2012, 12:14 AM
Tip of the hat to SF for extending the right guy.

KronoRed
05-26-2012, 02:07 AM
I drafted him in fantasy baseball this year.

I destroyed Ian Snell's career that way.

Johnny Footstool
05-26-2012, 03:19 AM
I drafted him in fantasy baseball this year.

You should see my pitching staff this year.

Brutus
05-26-2012, 07:53 AM
His fastball velocity is down and has dropped nearly every year since he made his debut. Here is his FB velocity since 2007: 93.6, 94, 92.4, 91.2, 92.2, 89.9.

He has thrown more sliders in each of the last two seasons than ever before and less curveballs than ever each of the last two seasons.

One interesting thing though, as his fastball has lost veloctiy, his change up has stayed exactly the same, never lower than 83.1 MPH on average and never higher than 83.7 MPH on average.

A .353 BABIP isn't helping him and his LOB rate is an insane 59.3% when league average is over 70%. His FIP is 2.94 this season, XFIP is 3.53. So we should expect a rebound of sorts from him assuming he doesn't get injured.

Still, ever declining velocity is a big red flag.

I don't see any red flags in velocity until the 89. That's a pretty alarming dip.

PuffyPig
05-26-2012, 10:40 AM
My first guess would be that he's a short right-hander. Add that to his weird delivery and throwing a ton of innings at a young age, it's cause for concern.

And that's the exact reasons many teams (including the Reds) were leery of drafting him.

Blitz Dorsey
05-26-2012, 12:48 PM
And that's the exact reasons many teams (including the Reds) were leery of drafting him.

Well, let's not pretend like the Reds made the right choice though. Even if Lincecum would retire right now (which he's obviously not going to) he would have accomplished more in his brief MLB career than Drew Stubbs will likely accomplish if he plays 15 years in MLB. Lincecum has two Cy Youngs and a WS championship under his belt (a WS the Giants don't win without him). That's going to be hard for Stubbs to ever top.

So, while it's interesting that Lincecum is declining so rapidly at such a young age, let's not act like the Reds made the right call. We might be talking about a 2010 WS championship for the Reds if they had drafted Lincecum.

corkedbat
05-26-2012, 12:49 PM
He's wilting under the pressure of not being Drew Stubbs. :cool:

PuffyPig
05-26-2012, 03:16 PM
Well, let's not pretend like the Reds made the right choice though. Even if Lincecum would retire right now (which he's obviously not going to) he would have accomplished more in his brief MLB career than Drew Stubbs will likely accomplish if he plays 15 years in MLB. Lincecum has two Cy Youngs and a WS championship under his belt (a WS the Giants don't win without him). That's going to be hard for Stubbs to ever top.

So, while it's interesting that Lincecum is declining so rapidly at such a young age, let's not act like the Reds made the right call. We might be talking about a 2010 WS championship for the Reds if they had drafted Lincecum.

I never said (nor implied) any such thing.

I simply said that the very reasons he has regressed was apparent at the time.

Clearly the smart choice would have been to draft him, get a few great years out of him, and then trade him for a kings ransom.

traderumor
05-26-2012, 04:36 PM
Well, let's not pretend like the Reds made the right choice though. Even if Lincecum would retire right now (which he's obviously not going to) he would have accomplished more in his brief MLB career than Drew Stubbs will likely accomplish if he plays 15 years in MLB. Lincecum has two Cy Youngs and a WS championship under his belt (a WS the Giants don't win without him). That's going to be hard for Stubbs to ever top.

So, while it's interesting that Lincecum is declining so rapidly at such a young age, let's not act like the Reds made the right call. We might be talking about a 2010 WS championship for the Reds if they had drafted Lincecum.Let's also not pretend that you haven't made a bunch of claims made on likely unproveable assumptions in these few sentences either. Stubbs vs. Lincecum draft pick is an old, tired debate. In the here and now, Lincecum sounds like he needs TJ surgery. Stubbs is a position player that the Reds will continue to have producing at an important position, and he's seem to have found a nice little niche in the 2 hole. Meanwhile, Lincecum is about to be shut down. Maybe check back later, say five years from now and compare career production. It might look quite different.

Blitz Dorsey
05-26-2012, 05:15 PM
I never said (nor implied) any such thing.

I simply said that the very reasons he has regressed was apparent at the time.

Clearly the smart choice would have been to draft him, get a few great years out of him, and then trade him for a kings ransom.

I gotcha. Sorry for misunderstanding.

:beerme:

Blitz Dorsey
05-26-2012, 05:16 PM
Let's also not pretend that you haven't made a bunch of claims made on likely unproveable assumptions in these few sentences either. Stubbs vs. Lincecum draft pick is an old, tired debate. In the here and now, Lincecum sounds like he needs TJ surgery. Stubbs is a position player that the Reds will continue to have producing at an important position, and he's seem to have found a nice little niche in the 2 hole. Meanwhile, Lincecum is about to be shut down. Maybe check back later, say five years from now and compare career production. It might look quite different.

You lost me with the double-negative in your first sentence. Also, it's funny that you talk about "unproveable assumptions" and then two sentences later say "sounds like Lincecum needs TJ surgery."

PuffyPig
05-26-2012, 06:09 PM
Also, it's funny that you talk about "unproveable assumptions" and then two sentences later say "sounds like Lincecum needs TJ surgery."

IMO, the words "sounds like" makes the sentence speculative in nature, as it was intended by the poster.

Blitz Dorsey
05-26-2012, 06:14 PM
IMO, the words "sounds like" makes the sentence speculative in nature, as it was intended by the poster.

The poster also said "Lincecum is about to be shut down."

traderumor
05-27-2012, 09:45 AM
You lost me with the double-negative in your first sentence. Also, it's funny that you talk about "unproveable assumptions" and then two sentences later say "sounds like Lincecum needs TJ surgery."Yea, I didn't proofread that, but it looks like you got my drift. I would say "it appears that Lincecum could be shut down soon." With that out of the way, your post still begs several questions. Care to respond to that?

Blitz Dorsey
05-27-2012, 10:52 PM
Yea, I didn't proofread that, but it looks like you got my drift. I would say "it appears that Lincecum could be shut down soon." With that out of the way, your post still begs several questions. Care to respond to that?

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Believe me, I hope Drew Stubbs' career ends up > than Tim Lincecum's career. However, that's a long-shot at best IMO. Would you not agree?

I mean, if Stubbs wins two NL MVPs and helps lead the Reds to a WS title, I'm all about it. But I would be shocked if it happened. I wouldn't be shocked if the Reds won a WS with Stubbs as their starting CF; but I would be shocked to see Stubbs win two NL MVP awards. You do realize that's what it would take for him to even match what Lincecum has already accomplished, right?

Superdude
05-27-2012, 10:56 PM
He's wilting under the pressure of not being Drew Stubbs. :cool:

:laugh: That is the only logical answer here.

PuffyPig
05-27-2012, 11:34 PM
I wouldn't be shocked if the Reds won a WS with Stubbs as their starting CF; but I would be shocked to see Stubbs win two NL MVP awards. You do realize that's what it would take for him to even match what Lincecum has already accomplished, right?

Lincecum has had a huge head start obviously, but I disagree that Stubbs has to win two MVP awards to match Lincecum.

If Lincecum's career fades out, and Stubbs is a decent player for 15 years, he might end up exceeding Lincecum.

It's not over until it's over.

AtomicDumpling
05-28-2012, 05:16 AM
Now Lincecum is saying he has a chronic blister on his fingertip that interferes with his ability to throw a good slider. It has bothered him all season and even the last couple seasons too. It was so bad that he planned to not use the slider at all this season, but changed his mind after the first game.

His velocity was somewhat improved on Saturday as it was up to an average of 91.8mph and topped out at 93.7 after being sub-90mph thus far this season.

In this article and others he and the coaches insist he is not nursing an injury: Lincecum Article (http://www.csnbayarea.com/05/26/12/Lincecum-to-Giants-fans-I-dont-want-them/mobile_landing.html?blockID=714636&feedID=2539)

He has had a couple bad stretches in the past, but never to start off a season where a slump is magnified. He had a 7.85 ERA in August 2010. I still think he will bounce back to top form sometime soon, unless he is truly hurt. He has been too good for too long to have his results drop off a cliff permanently.

Big Klu
05-28-2012, 01:18 PM
Well, if he had laid off the chronic, maybe that blister wouldn't have been a problem. :D

westofyou
05-28-2012, 01:18 PM
http://baseballmusings.com/?p=84290



The Giants also have the biggest negative surprise player in Tim Lincecum. Tim appears not to be injured and he still strikes out batters at a good rate. He lost his control, however, and when he comes into the strike zone he gets hit. Between his increased walks allowed and hits allowed, nearly four more batters are reaching base against him per nine innings. The highest single season OBP he allowed before this year was .310. This season, it’s .358.

JaxRed
05-28-2012, 03:25 PM
And in reality, Cain's contract will probably end up being a real bad one also.

traderumor
05-28-2012, 06:50 PM
I'm not sure what you're getting at. Believe me, I hope Drew Stubbs' career ends up > than Tim Lincecum's career. However, that's a long-shot at best IMO. Would you not agree?

I mean, if Stubbs wins two NL MVPs and helps lead the Reds to a WS title, I'm all about it. But I would be shocked if it happened. I wouldn't be shocked if the Reds won a WS with Stubbs as their starting CF; but I would be shocked to see Stubbs win two NL MVP awards. You do realize that's what it would take for him to even match what Lincecum has already accomplished, right?Well, not really. I would measure career production a little bit more detailed than number of MVP Awards and WS victories, but that's just me.

cumberlandreds
05-29-2012, 04:01 PM
I drafted him in fantasy baseball this year.

I have him and Halladay. What looked like a great starting duo has fallen off the table. Just my luck. :(