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Tim Lincecum is on the final year of his contract and could become a free agent following the season.
Tim Lincecum had by far the worst season of his career in 2012. He struggled with velocity, stamina and confidence, finishing the regular season with a 10-15 record, 5.18 ERA and 1.468 WHIP.
Lincecum turned down a lucrative long-term contract offer from the Giants prior to the 2012 season and is due to hit free agency after this year. If he hopes to cash in, he will need to have a significant rebound from his poor showing last year.
Never a fan of working out too hard, Lincecum came into spring training last year in less than top physical condition. This affected his velocity and, even more so, his stamina. He would frequently start games throwing in the 91-92 mph range, but by the second time through the order, he had fallen off to 88-89 mph.
As Lincecum's velocity declined, hitters started looking more for his change-up because they were less susceptible to the change of speeds.
Lincecum maintained a high strikeout rate, with 190 K's in 186 innings, but he also walked 90 batters and was quite hittable.
In the postseason, Lincecum got one start in the NLCS, but primarily pitched out of the bullpen. It was in relief where he found himself and regained his confidence and swagger.
Lincecum struggled in his only postseason start, allowing four earned runs in 4.2 innings. However, his relief outings were spectacular.
In five postseason relief appearances, Lincecum threw 13 innings, allowed only three hits, two walks and one earned run. He also struck out 17 batters and was a big part of the Giants' postseason success.
These final outings of 2012 should give Lincecum some confidence heading into 2013. If he comes into spring training in top shape, expect him to have a solid year.