MLB: Could Tim Lincecum Be Heading To The Bullpen?
Could Tim Lincecum soon find his way to the bullpen? It could certainly be a possibility for the San Francisco Giants, as they fight to stay in the playoff hunt.
Lincecum has seen his share of struggles recently. The player known as “The Freak” has had a freakishly bad last month of the season going 1-3 with a 9.49 ERA. Last nights[date maybe, depending on when published] 2.2 inning six run debacle might be the catalyst for a trip to the bullpen.
Once considered the best pitcher in baseball, Lincecum won two consecutive CY Young awards and is a four-time All-Star. So what changed? Why has Lincecum been so ineffective?
A lot can be credited to the loss of velocity in his fastball. Lincecum’s fastball has an average speed of 89.2 mph, that’s a major decrease from his 92.4 average in 2009. The decrease in his fastball velocity has effected other pitches as well. Opponents are hitting .227 against his slider, 53 points above his career average.
It is entirely possible that Lincecum only miss one start and doesn’t see a demotion the bullpen. Manager Bruce Bochy has remained confident in Lincecum , but when asked about a possible move to the bullpen Bochy stated, “We’ll talk about it… He definitely had a tough go today. He was out of sync and his delivery, command, everything — he was just off.”
Despite his struggles, Lincecum has had moments this season where it looked like “the Freak” had returned. On June 25th, Lincecum threw his second career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. He was also able to accumulate four straight wins during a stretch from June 25th to July 11th.
On the season Lincecum is 10-9 with a 4.64 ERA and 130 strikeouts.
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