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  1. With Lincecum it’s complicated. For one thing, hitters are now laying off his high fastball which was always one of his better pitches. When he’s ahead 0-2 he has this annoying habit of throwing a 58-foot breaking ball that isn’t fooling anyone. I think he’s still learning how to pitch without the dynamite stuff he had his first five years in the league.

    Comment by nolan — June 17, 2012 @ 1:39 am

  2. Excellent piece. Great stuff, Mike.

    Comment by lester bangs — June 17, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  3. I’ve seen a lot of flat Minor fastballs that scream out “crush me.” I don’t think his HR problem is merely bad fortune.

    Comment by lester bangs — June 17, 2012 @ 10:26 am

  4. This is often of criticism of HR regression techniques of any sort, but more often than not it’s an observer bias. A pitch tends to look a lot flatter once it’s been clubbed 420 ft.

    Fortunately, we live in a new age of information where you can go check the horizontal and vertical movement of said ‘flat Minor fastballs’, and report your findings.

    Go get ‘em.

    Comment by JDanger — June 17, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  5. I would be very interested to an article on fangraphs proper about what lincecum can expect in free agency if he keeps this up. More or less than he was offered as an extension from the Giants? How much will his recent struggles (assuming he struggles next year as well) weigh in compared to his early success (those cy youngs still look good)? Historically, what happened to guys who dominated and then fell off the table relatively early in their careers, and not due to missed time by injury?

    Comment by phoenix2042 — June 17, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

  6. We know that SIERA is the best predictor of future ERA. However, we should be cautious out at the extremes. If you look at FB values for all these guys to this point, most of them are quite poor including Lincecum as mentioned, and Wainwright (no surprise coming off surgery).

    So their performances to date are certainly warranted as their FB values have been relatively poor, so their past performances should be considered. For all of them these spreads are so large that it would be best to split the difference in general.

    For risk-takers, or if you’re just looking at a low risk opportunity, would you bet on Lincecum figuring it out in the second half, or Minor magically gaining FB command? Joe Blanton back in the 3.00s after a bad first half with the FB, which includes the cutter (his only positive run value pitch), or Wainwright gradually gaining better command of his sinker/cutter combo?

    Comment by Paul — June 18, 2012 @ 7:02 am

  7. I’ve seen Arrieta pitch a number of times, and I think you have it wrong there. From a ‘stuff’ and pitching IQ perspective I think SIERRA/FIP/xFIP have it right and we’ll see his ERA come down to match…

    Comment by YankeeGM — June 29, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

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