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Thread: What is wrong with Tim Lincecum?

  1. #1
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    What is wrong with Tim Lincecum?

    Any thoughts, ideas, or theories? Discuss!
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    K/BB ratio down four straight years (so far in 2012, at least). K/9 has trended down for 4 straight years and BB/9 have increases for 4 straigh years. Velocity? No idea. No trends in his BABIP. No noticable trends in his HR% either.

    His .355 BABIP so far in 2012 is not sustainable, so as long as he can walk fewer batters this year, I bet he will have a good year when it is all said and done.
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  3. #3
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    A .355 BABIP is really high isn't it?

    A Yahoo! Sports article about Timmy's woes.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tim-lin...l-missing.html
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    A .355 BABIP is really high isn't it?

    A Yahoo! Sports article about Timmy's woes.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tim-lin...l-missing.html
    Extremely high - which indicates a lot of bad luck so far. No MLB pitcher is a true .355 BABIP pitcher - or they would be out of the league. The worst BABIP pitchers in the history of the league (who stick around for any length of time) are under .320.

    In fact, of all pitchers with over 2,000 batters faced, the single worst BABIP comes from Glendon Rusch at .325.
    Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 05-10-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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    Command has been his biggest issue, with too many walks, but he's averaging 10.1 K/9 this year, and has allowed just 17 hits in his last 23 innings, with a .210 BAA (.298 BABIP). He's having some issues mechanically and needs to avoid the "big inning", but he's real close to reeling off 15-20 straight solid-to-excellent starts and making people stop asking "what's wrong with Tim Lincecum."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich the Giants fan View Post
    He's having some issues mechanically and needs to avoid the "big inning", ."
    I will check his LOB% to see how he is doing with sequencing so far...


    WOW 60% LOB%. League average is around 70% and Lincecum's career was aroung 76% coming into this year. So his hits are not being as evenly distributed as one would expect so far. In other words; another reason to expect the "real" Lincecum to show up pretty soon.

    The only worrisome trend is his BB rate...but that isn't going to double your ERA.
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  7. #7
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    I guess the question is who is the "real" Tim Lincecum is? Will we ever see the 2008-09 Lincecum again? This is an important question because after 2013 Timmy is a FA. The 2008-09 Lincecum is worth a huge contract. The 2010-11 Lincecum is not.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    I guess the question is who is the "real" Tim Lincecum is? Will we ever see the 2008-09 Lincecum again? This is an important question because after 2013 Timmy is a FA. The 2008-09 Lincecum is worth a huge contract. The 2010-11 Lincecum is not.
    Well, he hasn't been 2008-2009 Lincecum for 3 seasons, so I think a real trend is there. But I see no reason he won't look like 2010 Lincecum by the time the season is over, which is a 3.0-4.0 WAR pitcher who is close to an All Star, #2ish starter. Certainly not a poor pitcher as he appears now. Of course he will not want #2 starter money...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew C. View Post
    Well, he hasn't been 2008-2009 Lincecum for 3 seasons, so I think a real trend is there. But I see no reason he won't look like 2010 Lincecum by the time the season is over, which is a 3.0-4.0 WAR pitcher who is close to an All Star, #2ish starter. Certainly not a poor pitcher as he appears now. Of course he will not want #2 starter money...
    And that is the crux of the problem. If Timmy does settle into a 3.0-4.0, #2ish starter and he demands C.C Sabathia money the Giants will be a huge bind.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    And that is the crux of the problem. If Timmy does settle into a 3.0-4.0, #2ish starter and he demands C.C Sabathia money the Giants will be a huge bind.
    If he has another decent-yet-not-great season, I'd let him walk and spend the money on offense, if I were the Giants. They have a lot of pitching depth. If he dominates the last 4.5 months, pay the man.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich the Giants fan View Post
    Command has been his biggest issue, with too many walks, but he's averaging 10.1 K/9 this year, and has allowed just 17 hits in his last 23 innings, with a .210 BAA (.298 BABIP). He's having some issues mechanically and needs to avoid the "big inning", but he's real close to reeling off 15-20 straight solid-to-excellent starts and making people stop asking "what's wrong with Tim Lincecum."
    Isn't he starting to get better after a bad start?

    I think one of the problems is that hitters lay off his offspeed stuff in the dirt. combined with his velocity loss this makes him a little less dangerous. he used to throw 97 now he throws 92.

    but he is still a damn good pitcher I'm just not sure if he remains a CY candidate. But I think he will continue to win a lot of games.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and canít run, most of the time heís clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Ė Dusty Baker.

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    The next question is why can't Timmy throw 97 mph anymore? Surely his arm hasn't deteriorated that much at age 28?
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    Rob Neyer summarizes what we have discussing in this article. There's some good stuff in the comments section as well.

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/5/10/30...es-slump-death
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    The next question is why can't Timmy throw 97 mph anymore? Surely his arm hasn't deteriorated that much at age 28?
    first we have to know if he really can't or if he is pacing himself.

    if he can't this might be because he is a small guy who relies on enormous flexibilty to create the necessary range of motion. if he loses a little there this shortens his accleration path and costs velocity. for that reason those small explosive and flexible pitchers often lose the speed earlier than the 6"6 guy who has a longer natural acceleration path and thus often can chuck mid 90s still in their mid 30s.

    another possible explanation could be that there are small overuse injuries already but I can't answer that.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and canít run, most of the time heís clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Ė Dusty Baker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    The next question is why can't Timmy throw 97 mph anymore? Surely his arm hasn't deteriorated that much at age 28?
    I always wondered if the reason was that Timmy was pulling a Koufax and taking a bit off the fastball to get better control. As the the years have gone by and his fastball continues to slow, I'm guessing that wasn't it.
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    FB velocity by year:

    2007: 94.2
    2008: 94.1
    2009: 92.4
    2010: 91.3
    2011: 92.3
    2012: 90.0

    Ok, so it's dropped a bit this year and dropped a bit after the '08 season, but it actually went up last year from the year before and was consistent with the year before that. I expect his velocity this year will pick up as he finds his mechanics. Other than that, I consider his velocity a non-issue. I also think there's nothing that a few mechanical tweaks won't fix.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich the Giants fan View Post
    FB velocity by year:

    2007: 94.2
    2008: 94.1
    2009: 92.4
    2010: 91.3
    2011: 92.3
    2012: 90.0

    Ok, so it's dropped a bit this year and dropped a bit after the '08 season, but it actually went up last year from the year before and was consistent with the year before that. I expect his velocity this year will pick up as he finds his mechanics. Other than that, I consider his velocity a non-issue. I also think there's nothing that a few mechanical tweaks won't fix.
    yeah dropping velocity doesn't have to be a problem if you have good control and secondary stuff. halladay also isn't throwing 95 anymore and he is still great.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and canít run, most of the time heís clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Ė Dusty Baker.

  18. #18
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    Pitchers with average BABIP need the high velocity to prevent as many BIP as possible. Doc can get away with a drop in velocity better than Lincecum. So could Clemens, etc. But when a guy like Frank Tanana loss velocity, is is another matter. If Lincecum can't get his velocity back up, it could be a long-term problem.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew C. View Post
    Pitchers with average BABIP need the high velocity to prevent as many BIP as possible. Doc can get away with a drop in velocity better than Lincecum. So could Clemens, etc. But when a guy like Frank Tanana loss velocity, is is another matter. If Lincecum can't get his velocity back up, it could be a long-term problem.
    Is lincecum a high BABIP guy?
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and canít run, most of the time heís clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Ė Dusty Baker.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dominik View Post
    Is lincecum a high BABIP guy?
    .302 in a .299 league. but it is also a park that suppresses BABIP a little and he has had a + defense behind him. So probably a true .305 BABIP guy - so a little worse than average. But similarly to Andy Pettitte and Roy Oswalt - a lot worse than the average #1 starter. Lincecum needs a very high K rate to be successful, with a below-average BABIP and a poor BB rate. Well, his HR/9 rates are very good too. Despite that, he has to improve the other skills if his K rate drops too much. Santana for example was still good after his velocity drop since he was really good at all of the other skills.
    Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 05-13-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew C. View Post
    .302 in a .299 league. but it is also a park that suppresses BABIP a little and he has had a + defense behind him. So probably a true .305 BABIP guy - so a little worse than average. But similarly to Andy Pettitte and Roy Oswalt - a lot worse than the average #1 starter. Lincecum needs a very high K rate to be successful, with a below-average BABIP and a poor BB rate. Well, his HR/9 rates are very good too. Despite that, he has to improve the other skills if his K rate drops too much. Santana for example was still good after his velocity drop since he was really good at all of the other skills.
    Well he's averaging over 10 K's per game so far this year. High enough?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich the Giants fan View Post
    Well he's averaging over 10 K's per game so far this year. High enough?
    Not if your true BABIP skill was really .355. Which it is not...which is why I said in posts 2, 4, 6, and 8 that I expected his season to start looking better very soon.

    If his true BABIP skill were really .355, he better strike out about 14-15 per 9 to be successful.

    That doesn't change the fact that with an assumed below average BB rate and a below average true BABIP, hypothetical Lincecum would not be able to survive a big K/9 drop the way that guys like Johan Santana or Roger Clemens did. For Lincecum to remain an ace he needs to 1. maintain his K rates or 2. improve in some of these other components.
    Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 05-13-2012 at 11:48 PM.
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  23. #23
    his k/9 this year is still as high as in 08 despite the velocity loss. So this skill did not suffer yet. I would say he was unlucky with babip. .355 is not his talent level.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and canít run, most of the time heís clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Ė Dusty Baker.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dominik View Post
    his k/9 this year is still as high as in 08 despite the velocity loss. So this skill did not suffer yet. I would say he was unlucky with babip. .355 is not his talent level.
    And the increased walk rate. but you are right, a lot of it is bad luck, as has been said numerous times.
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    Another terrible start for Timmy! He pitched 5.2 innings, 5 ER, 9 hits and his ERA is now at 6.00
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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