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Another Look at Tim Lincecum

A while ago I wrote a piece on Tim Lincecum’s early season struggles. Since then, not only has he rebounded, but he’s looking like the best pitcher in the National League, sorry Johan Santana, Josh Johnson, and Dan Haren.

Lincecum’s FIP sits at 1.82, almost a full run lower than last year, his strikeout rate is up to 11.77 per nine, and his walk totals are down to 2.64. Oh, and he’s giving up even fewer homeruns The most amazing aspect of Lincecum’s turn around is his BABIP against. It was high before and it’s still high now. His career BABIP against is .312, this year his BABIP against is .368, that’s a lot of regression to go.

As for his pitches, Lincecum’s fastball is still down in velocity, 92.3 MPH instead of 94 MPH. His slider is being used more – or at least pitches registering as sliders – his curve usage is up and his change-up usage is basically static. Per our PitchFx data, Lincecum’s fastball is moving about a half-inch more in to righties, same with his change-up, and his curve is moving more vertically and less horizontally.

In that piece I also showed how Lincecum’s release point had changed, and speculated such as the cause for the lack of control, well, take a look at the release points that first start versus his last home start:

A little more clustered, don’t you think? If Lincecum keeps pitching like this, he’s going to make me eat my words when I wrote he may never top his 2008 season.