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6/15/1984 (32 y, 9 m, 8 d)
2006 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 10, Overall: 10, Team: San Francisco Giants
$40.5M / 2 Years (2012 - 2013)
$35M / 2 Years (2014 - 2015)
Lincecum tossed seven innings of one-run ball against Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday while striking out five. (9/5/2016)
Tim Lincecum on His Hip, Curveball, and a Comeback
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
MASH Report (5/31/16)
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
Scouting Brady Aiken's First Professional Appearan»
Eric Longenhagen (FanGraphs)
The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 345 – Listener R»
Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs)
Tim Lincecum Goes to the Most Obvious Place
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The shaggy ace followed up his Cy Young season with another year for the ages by almost impossibly improving. He cut his walk rate from average (3.33 per nine) to above average (2.73) while maintaining his double-digit strikeout rate. His already low home-run rate (.44 per nine in 2008) dropped, too (.40). He improved his ground-ball rate and had another year giving up home runs as a tiny percentage of his fly balls (5.5% last year, 6.3% career). His fastball, slider, and curveball did lose a couple miles per hour, but his change-up stepped forward as a plus out-pitch (+35 runs). The drop in velocity is the only troubling thing, as it's been shown that taller pitchers retain their velocity longer and Lincecum is 5'11” on a good day. Coupled with his unique pitching motion, whispers of possible future injuries for the Giants ace cannot be ignored.
The Year Ahead:
While taller pitchers retain their velocity longer, slighter pitchers also tend to retain their velocity longer, so Lincecum may be fine yet. His velocity is definitely already trending downward, but he still sports some Major League-leading movement that probably won't disappear without an injury, and injuries are seemingly impossible to predict. But because of the risk of an arm or shoulder injury, taking an ace like Lincecum in the first or second round is hard to recommend. There's much less risk taking a position player in those spots. Fantasy managers can be forgiven for forgoing the pitch-by-pitch winces that his whirling dervish of a delivery will elicit in his 2010 owners. (Eno Sarris)
When Lincecum bolted through the minor leagues, he did it with a 100 MPH fastball that he just blew by opposing hitters. Now, he regularly throws 90 MPH fastballs and instead gets them out by throwing perhaps the game’s best change-up. It’s been a remarkable transformation, but through it all, Lincecum has remained an elite starting pitcher. He might not match his numbers from 2009 again, but his ability to pivot and maintain most of his dominance in the face of declining velocity is a good sign for his future. Pitching half his games in AT&T Park also helps keep his home run rate down, and the combination of few home runs and a lot of strikeouts make it difficult to put runs on the board. Don’t expect another 260 strikeout season, but if you want a high-K, low-ERA starter, he’s tough to beat. (Dave Cameron)
The Quick Opinion:
One of the best starting pitchers in the game, but not any kind of secret. You'll have to pay a premium to have Lincecum at the front of your rotation.
In yet another example of how bad wins and losses as a pitcher statistic are, Lincecum actually finished with a sub-.500 record despite posting a 2.74 ERA. Lincecum’s star has dimmed just a bit over the last two seasons as his SIERA/xFIP marks have risen each year since 2009. His strikeout rate has no dropped for three consecutive years, while his walk rate has increased for two. The good news is he regained the lost velocity on his fastball that he suffered in 2010, though that didn’t help his strikeout rate or his swinging strike percentage. Now sitting in the 92.0 mile per hour range with his fastball, versus 94.0 back in 2007 and 2008, it is unlikely he returns to the 10.0+ strikeout rate level. That said, he should continue to strike out over a batter per inning, while displaying league average control and inducing grounders at an above average clip. Still an ace. (Mike Podhorzer)
The Quick Opinion:
Lincecum has lost a bit of luster over the past two seasons, but he still has a strong skill set. With a sub-.500 record in 2011 leading to overshadowing by the Clayton Kershaws and Roy Halladays of the world, he may be undervalued in 2012 drafts.
Lincecum is one of the top mysteries heading into 2013 after his miserable 2012 season. Most analysts peg Lincecum's troubles to a substantial decline in his fastball velocity. Even in the post-season, when he pitched well out of the bullpen, his fastball velocity didn't spike. According to PITCHf/x, Lincecum's four-seamer averaged only 90.4 mph and in many games sat mostly at 88-89 mph. When Lincecum reared back to add velocity, he lost command of the pitch. The drop in fastball velocity also affected the effectiveness of his change-up (his outpitch) as hitters could lay off the change-up waiting for a fastball in the zone to hit. The result for Lincecum was the second-highest walk rate (4.35) among qualified starters in the National League. His strikeout rate (9.19) sat just above his 2011 numbers (9.12), but a long way from the 10.51 K/9 he posted in 2008, the first year he won the NL Cy Young. Another troubling development for Lincecum was his tendency to give up the long-ball. His 1.11 home run rate was the highest of his career by far. Sure, he gave up 16 of 23 home runs on the road, but he still yielded seven home runs at AT&T Park, the toughest home run-hitting park in the majors. Bill James projects a bounce-back season for Lincecum in 2013. Whether you should expect that for your fantasy team is anyone's guess. (Wendy Thurm/
The Quick Opinion:
It's anyone's guess whether the old Lincecum will re-appear in 2013. He committed to a off-season weight-gain and exercise program prescribed by the Giants training staff. Whether that, or any change to his approach or mechanics, will result in a rejuvenated fastball remains to be seen. Be very wary with Lincecum in 2013.
It was another disappointing season for the two-time Cy Young award winner, as Lincecum's strikeout percentage remained at the same depressed level as 2012 and he struggled again with the long ball. Though his walk rate rebounded to pre-2012 levels, he had trouble stranding runners for the second straight year. While SIERA suggests much of his poor performance these past two seasons has been due to poor fortune, his skills have clearly been in decline. His fastball velocity sits two miles per hour below his 2011 mark and he has therefore continued to throw the pitch less and less frequently. He is still inducing swings and misses at similar rates though, so it doesn't appear that his stuff has truly deteriorated. While we are unlikely to see peak form Lincecum ever again -- without major improvement in his fastball command at least -- he is still plenty good enough to push his ERA back below 4.00. (
The Quick Opinion:
With a decline in fastball velocity that has led to a decrease in strikeout percentage, it isn't that surprising that Lincecum is no longer the ace that he once was. But, he continues to induce a healthy rate of swinging strikes and still possesses a pretty attractive overall skill set, giving him strong rebound potential.
Only six starting pitchers that threw 150 innings had a worse ERA than Tim Lincecum in 2014. Only four that have thrown 300 innings have had a worse ERA since 2013. Dude has fallen off since his Cy Young days. And the fall has been so hard and for so long that you can't just point to xFIP or his strikeout rate and hope for a rebound. When the pitcher himself confesses to being lost,
trying to hide his fastball
, and not knowing how to improve his fastball command or velocity... there's very little to hang your hat on here if you're looking for better days in the future. Especially if you're talking about him as a starter. In the deepest of leagues, you can say that this formerly impressive Freak still had a slider, splitter, and curve that were average or better by whiff rates in 2014. You can say that he's still striking guys out and just needs to stop giving up homers, which could be possible in that home park. But once you say those things, you should make sure not to pay much for your long-shot sleeper that might end up in the bullpen. And if you're not in a deep league, leave him on the wire after your draft. He might throw another no-hitter, but good luck figuring out when. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
The Cy Young seasons are long gone. There was a no-hitter this year, but that seems so far away at this point too. Tim Lincecum can still get whiffs, but he never had command, and now that his fastball is lucky to break 90, batters are teeing off. Avoid until he makes a major adjustment to his mechanics or approach, and even then... wait for some results.
Lincecum is done. Kaput. The free agent had hip surgery back in September and was supposed to showcase his talent to teams in mid-January. Then the deadline got pushed back to late-January, then early-February. Now it is scheduled for some time in February. This constant delay while trying to get healthy reminds me of the dance Johan Santana did for a few pre-seasons. I expect Lincecum and his 87 mph fastball to have problems finding a home. I would not be surprised if his fastball was under 87 mph at this point. Even if he regressed back to his 2015 levels of production, he would basically be unplayable. His ERA and ERA estimators were all north of 4.00. His strikeout rate was at a career low. His walk rate was at a career high. I wouldn’t take a chance on him at all. Find a pitcher with a future. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
A Tim Lincecum resurgence is about as likely as a Eno Sarris saying Budweiser is his favorite beer. Basically none.
The Angels needed a NAIA-level pitcher last season and they got it with Lincecum. It will be interesting to see which team is desperate enough to sign him. He’s worthless in all fantasy formats. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Really? You just had to check out Lincecum's profile. Now go back to work.
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Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:37 AM ET
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