It has been one of those seasons for San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum. The two-time NL Cy Young award winner has posted an abysmal 2-8 record with a 6.19 ERA so far this season. His numbers have been so bad that some people have suggested that Lincecum should be moved to the bullpen, as recommended by our own Dan Mori.
Lincecum summed it up best in a New York Times article after his latest loss to the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, lamenting on his struggles.
“But the way I can word it best without alleviating any responsibility off myself—which is what it is, it is me, when it comes back to it—is everything that can go wrong is going wrong,” said Lincecum.
Are Lincecum's struggles due to a drop in velocity? According to fangraphs.com, this assertion would seem to be correct. His velocity is down almost two mph from his average recordings in 2011—90.4 compared to 92.2. More alarming is the fact that his velocity is down four mph from 2008—when he won his first of two back-to-back NL Cy Young awards.
Could injuries be a factor here as well? According to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, injuries are not a factor, as he told SFGate.com.
“He’s healthy. He feels good,” Bochy said. “I know the results haven’t been great for Timmy, but you see too many good signs. At this point the best thing is to let him fight through this. If we felt differently, we’d do it.”
The Giants should keep an eye on Lincecum and consider all options. A trip to the bullpen may be the right remedy for his struggles.