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Tim Lincecum was dominant out of the bullpen in October
Is it possible for a two time Cy Young award winner, two time World Series Champion and winner of the Babe Ruth award to have a breakout season after those accomplishments? No one can argue that Tim Lincecum has already broken out but after his dismal 2012 season, he is primed for a second break out season.
Like Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum is slated to become a free agent for the first time after the 2013 season. He has already signed a couple of short term large dollar contracts and seemed destined to eventually end up in the upper echelon of starting pitcher contracts until last year happened.
Production-wise, Tim Lincecum was the fifth starter on the Giants starting staff in 2012. Whether he was tipping his pitches, had become too predictable or simply peaked early in his career and was already heading down the other side, Tim Lincecum was a shell of his former self all year, until the post season.
Lincecum was relegated to the bull pen during the playoffs and World Series and took the assignment without complaint. His performance out of the bullpen in the post season was downright dominant. He was unhittable. Lincecum was the Lincecum all Giants fans had fallen in love with once again. What he accomplished in the 2012 post season in a role completely foreign to him was borderline legendary and left many people wondering what it meant.
Had Tim Lincecum found what he had seemingly lost? Can he translate his relief success back to the starting rotation or is his future in the bullpen? One thing is certain; Tim Lincecum will be a starter in 2013. How effective will he be though? The Giants can afford to be patient with him as they boast one of the most dominant starting staffs in the majors. Lincecum, personally can’t be so patient.
There will be a lot of eyes watching how he performs in 2013 from the Giants organization and baseball as a whole. How he responds and how well he is able to block out all distractions could be the difference of tens of millions of dollars. If he is able to rebound and be the Tim Lincecum of old, he will have had his second break out season in 2013.