Results tagged ‘ Tim Lincecum ’
Tim Lincecum took the mound for the Giants on an Orange Friday at the yard, as the tied for first place in the NL West Rockies and Giants squared off for a good old fashioned nine inning baseball game. If you missed the game, let me
mislead tell you about some of the things that happened.
Here’s some evidence of the good pitches that Lincecum threw
Tyler Chatwood was SO unsuccessful on this butcher boy attempt and the runner at first would get doubled off for a double play. Nice try, Colorado!
Yerrrrrrrr out, Toddy!
Nolan Arenado was showing off tonight playing defense. Quite good, this young fella!
But Brandon Crawford is always there to help out with a double play.
Yea! Go Giants!
After resting a couple days to give a sore hamstring a break, Angel Pagan is back in the lineup, while Jose Mijares gets reinstated from the restricted list and Jean Machi goes back down to Triple-A Fresno. A night after facing Cliff Lee, the Giants don’t get a break from successful pitchers in 2013 as Kyle Kendrick will toe the slab for the Phillies. Kendrick, like Lee and Bumgarner from last night, also has only one start of less than six innings this season, and has gone three times through the batting order in his last three starts, including a complete game shutout against the Mets two starts ago. He’ll go against Tim Lincecum, who just came off of a hit parade in Arizona, still was able to go five innings, and has gone at least that length in all of his starts, surprising as that may seem.
The lineups for the Phillies:
Tonight’s 10:15 lineup at SF. Kendrick vs. Lincecum. CSN/1210WPHT/94WIP/MLB.tv. twitter.com/Phillies/statu…
— Phillies (@Phillies) May 7, 2013
Tonight’s (5/7) #SFGiants lineup vs PHI- Pagan CF, Scutaro 2B, Sandoval 3B, Posey C, Pence RF, Blanco LF, Belt 1B, Crawford SS and Lincecum
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 7, 2013
Both Kendrick and Lincecum have been around since 2007, but I find Kendrick’s evolution as a pitcher up to this point pretty fascinating since I feel his success is pretty quiet (west coast bias, perhaps?). Looking at the chart below, it looks like he relies on his two seamer a good deal, less on his cutter, and a healthy amount on his splitter, all the while his average velocity sitting around the same area.
Lincecum, however, has these violent spikes and valleys in his pitch% chart, relying less on his two-seamer and cut fastball, and more on his four-seamer, slider, and his changeup/split as his career has progressed, though his fastball velocity isn’t what it used to be (to be fair, that happens to just about everybody).
Lincecum also had his first start in a long while since he walked zero batters. His swings outside the zone percentage of 31.0% in his last start was the highest he had all season, as was the .563 BABIP against him that game. Stupid Diamondbacks.
Game time is at 7:15PM PST.
13-9 through their first twenty-two games, the Giants have left the comforts of home and will play weekend baseball in one of the more comfortable cities to do it in San Diego. The Padres will throw out Andrew Cashner once again, and he faced fourteen hitters over four innings, walking one, giving up one homer, and striking out five in his Saturday outing. The last time Tim Lincecum saw Cashner and the Pads was also the last time the Friars were at AT&T and had his longest outing of the year, just short of seven innings (6.2), two walks, and eight strikeouts, and Buster Posey was catching him! A day for much rejoicing indeed, as it was another win of the three-game sweep of the Padres. The only team from the NL West that the Padres have not been swept by are those Los Angeles Dodgers, whom the Pads are 4-2 against. They have lost all six games against the Rockies, and haven’t played the Diamondbacks yet. They’ll look to not get swept by San Francisco again this weekend, and they’ll have Carlos Quentin back to help them out.
Tonight’s lineup for the Giants:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Pagan CF, Scutaro 2B, Sandoval 3B, Posey C, Pence RF, Belt 1B, Crawford SS, Blanco LF, Lincecum P
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) April 26, 2013
Posey catching Lincecum, Brandon Belt‘s back in the lineup (I know it’s a RHP on the mound for San Diego), all feels the way it should.
And the home team Padres:
— Andy Masur (@PadsCast) April 26, 2013
Chase Headley came back during the series against the Giants, and the Giants were none to happy to see him homering and hitting off of them.
As for Lincecum’s pitch usage this year, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the change/split is not being used that much to open the plate appearance or when the batter’s ahead, but primarily when he’s ahead or has two strikes on a hitter. That has really been his money pitch, and I know I say this all the time, but if he can command the fastball, his outings should be fun to watch and make that split (and his slider) that much more effective.
I thought Cashner’s pitch usage stats might still be evening out since his spot starting began the last time he took the mound, but looking at his pitch distribution from his last start, the fastball distribution seems true, although he was pretty even with the changeup and slider.
Cashner threw forty-four fastballs (five sinkers), ten changeups, and eleven sliders in his sixty-five pitches to the Giants last Saturday. Will be interesting to see what kind of pitch count will be on him and how long manager Bud Black lets him go tonight if he stays out of trouble.
Game time is at 7:10PM PST at PetCo Park.
Hopefully, after a night where it took a while for fans to get into the park, prospective attendees have brought themselves to the park earlier so as to get through security so they may see the first pitch tonight. Clayton Richard was originally scheduled to go against the Giants today in Game 2 of their weekend series, but due to flu-like symptoms, he’ll miss tonight’s start and hope he can make his turn in the rotation again on Tuesday. Known high-velocity thrower Andrew Cashner makes his first start of the season. He made five starts last year in thirty-three appearances, but none of them came against the Giants. Only one of those starts went longer than 5.0 IP, against Houston, and the Giants will hope to take him out early as well. The lineups for the visitors:
— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) April 20, 2013
and the root, root root for the home team:
Padres changed pitchers. So, new lineup: Pagan CF, Scutaro 2B, Sandoval 3B, Posey C, Pence RF, Crawford SS, Belt 1B, Blanco LF, Lincecum RHP
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) April 20, 2013
Cashner hasn’t gone longer than 2.2 IP this year in his relief appearances, so if he gets into the 4th or 5th inning, his control and command will be something everybody makes a closer look towards. Since Cashner has only had to deal with his opposition in short spurts and they’ve really only see him one time in a game, the strategy will be a little bit different than that of his starting tonight, and the velocity may be dialed down a bit. This is Cashner’s pitch distribution for the season thus far in the few pitches he’s made so far.
If you have a good fastball-changeup combination, that can do you wonders as a pitcher (see: Tim Lincecum, even though his changeup is a split), and Cashner may have to utilize those other breaking ball pitches a little more if the changeup isn’t hitting the strike zone tonight. I feel like that’s the key for him tonight — to get that changeup in there, to make pitches other than the fastball get into the mind of Giants hitters. For Timmy:
As Cashner’s key is the changeup and the strike zone, so is Timmy’s fastball and the strike zone. If the hitters see Timmy is hitting the strike zone, I’d be under the impression they are less likely to just spit on the slider and the split when he gets to throwing them. I’m still pretty surprised that he’s gone at least five innings in each of his starts this season, and his walks in a game going from 7 to 4 to 1, so that means he’s walking -2 hitters tonight (put money down on that).
As of right now, the Giants are 6-1 against their NL West brothers while the Padres are 4-9. The home team hope to make that 4-10 tonight. Game time is 6:05PM PST.
There being 162 games in the season, 16 games in seems like a fine place to check in with 10% of the regular season finding its box checked by the Giants. The Giants are 9-7 after getting swept by Milwaukee, but I can’t say that these last three games speak to what we’ve seen out of this team so far. They’ll be in second or third in the NL West depending on how Arizona does tonight against the Yankees tonight, and I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t concerned if they had the record of the Marlins (3-12), but the record you have today shouldn’t be a predictor of where you finish.
Baseball Reference won’t have all sixteen games until tomorrow, but this is what the Giants season has looked like so far:
More of the “W” than the “L,” and have swept the division leading Colorado Rockies (what year is this?). Sure, the Giants are suffering their longest losing streak since the end of July last year, but I think they just needed to get out of Miller Park. There may be some obvious stars and goats from this first ten percent of the season, but there are also some legitimate questions for each player we look forward to see being played out.
Some of the Heroes
Brandon Crawford is always known for his defense, but have you noticed his productive start at the dish? How about a very handsome .352/.435/.593 line, tied for first in fWAR with Justin Upton at 1.3, so his value isn’t only coming with the glove. Crawford’s fWAR last season? 1.7.
Barry Zito didn’t have a very productive third start in Milwaukee, but then again, anyone who pitched there wished their day went a little bit better. Being a contributor with his pitch hand and his bat, Zito was a welcome surprise, continuing his postseason success with two straight starts with his defense helping him to two victories.
Sergio Romo had been called on to work in a eight of twelve game stretch, which is plenty of games for any reliever and wouldn’t bode well if that’s the rate at which he was being used when worrying bout fatigue. A 41.4% strikeout rate with no walks is pretty incredible work so far, and to have the guy that comes into the 9th inning not walk anybody saves all of us a few years of our lives.
Some of the Goats
Brandon Belt is the obvious choice for the guy that’s having the slowest start. His .214 BABIP has kept his hit count low, despite the line drives we’ve seen him hit. His nine hits in fifty-nine plate appearances don’t look stomach pleasing, and Nick Noonan is actually catching up to him in hits since the rookie already has seven himself. The ropes Belt’s hitting right now aren’t finding the ground, maybe it’s me being an apologist for him, but I gotta believe he’s close.
Tim Lincecum‘s struggles continue, and while Hector Sanchez did cost Lincecum strikes in his first start with his framing abilities, Timmy has not been helping his batterymate out with his lack of control. It’s amazing that a) he has gone at least five innings in each start, and b) the team has won each of the three games he’s started. His walk count in his three starts have gone from 7 to 4 to 1, so that is encouraging.
George Kontos is my choice from the reliever corps, though it’s not like it’s a runaway. His 15.2% left on base rate is pre-tttty low, and that will go up as the season goes, and his Opening Day homer to Clayton Kershaw still burns in my brain. He is not a question mark for me, just not a hot start.
Some of the Questions
How real is this personal catcher situation? Last year, we experienced the Hector Sanchez-Tim Lincecum experiment with Buster Posey at 1B. With Guillermo Quiroz getting a hit today, now the question is if he is being auditioned to take Sanchez’s spot. Also of note, since Posey got a day off today in a day game after a night game, might that set him up for catching #55 on Saturday? While Hector has given the team a better walk rate recently, his bat is not the answer.
Speaking of Posey, what the heck’s going on with the 2012 MVP? One more hit than Belt, and a slash line that you’d expect more out of 2011 Brandon Crawford than 2013 Posey. Articles on him suggest it’s just a slow start, that he’s feeling fine. If he’s feeling fine, I’m not worried about him catching back on. Same goes for Matt Cain.
When does Heath Hembree get the call-up? I believe it was Pavs that said when the Giants call him up, the Giants want it to be for good. When it comes to that, you’ll see MLB teams calling their prospects up in June so that they may hold on to their players for an extra year.
What the Chad Gaudin? I know, right? He’s been surprisingly better than decent, but has been used in more low leverage situations than in a situation you might see Santiago Casilla or Kontos showing up in. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Giants are with Gaudin as the year goes on, especially when Gaudin regresses.
What to look forward to
How about five straight series with NL West opponents? Padres, D-Backs, @ Padres, @ D-Backs, Dodgers that will carry us into May, all of these sets lasting three games a piece. Arizona gets to have six straight series with NL West opponents, so that should be fun for them.
The Giants, students of the comeback for some of their victories, are indeed lucky to be where they are, but the record is probably around what you might have expected out of them. You cannot win the division in April, but so far, they are not losing it.
Looking forward to more of those.
The series finale in Chicago happens today as the Cubs look to split the series with the Champs and the Giants look forward to a day off tomorrow after playing ten straight games. It’s early in the season, so I’m sure the players are looking forward to it.
Giants vs. Jackson: Pagan CF, Scutaro 2B, Sandoval 3B, Pence RF, Belt 1B, Blanco LF, Sanchez C, Crawford SS, Lincecum RHP
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) April 14, 2013
Lincecum has walked 20.8% of the batters he’s faced so far, so every fifth guy in the order here in the Cubs lineup will probably be looking forward to a walk:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 14, 2013
Of course, Edwin Jackson (12% BB%) is also known for his ability to walk players, and although his percentage isn’t the one-in-five Lincecum’s is, it’s still higher than the single digit percentage he’s put out over his career, and single digits is what you’d like to hit anyway. Lincecum’s career walk rate is 9.4%, so he’s way above that right now.
A lot of the talk that comes with Tim Lincecum goes to why can’t Posey catch him and Hector Sanchez always being his unsaid “personal catcher?” It looks like this is just the way it’s going to be, and we have to hope Sanchez is always improving with his ability to receive pitches and keep himself disciplined at the plate. Looking at the pitch log from Lincecum’s two starts (where Hector also caught), maybe there’s reason for hope in a small sample size:
Look at all the balls called well inside the strike zone. While the umpire needs to recognize the strike zone, the catcher needs to help his pitcher out as well in receiving and framing, even if Lincecum has the off-the-wall command he does. Sanchez said he reviewed some tape and changed his footing so that he may better receive the pitches from Timmy before his second start. The pitches from the last game against Colorado:
Lincecum really misses high and inside a lot to RHH (these are from the umpire’s point of view), which is kind of scary. But in this plot, there are four balls just inside the zone that were missed, and one touching the zone that was called a ball. That could be a little Hector and a little umpire, but it is progress in the right direction for Timmy not suffering as much in missing strikes. The anti-personal catcher crowd tends to put Hector under a microscope, so look for how Hector catches and tries to frame pitches today. For me, that’s the most important thing. I expect a couple of strikeouts on pitches out of the zone, and maybe a base hit if he’s in the lineup. We’ll see how it goes today… but I advise you not to take a drink today every time a batter is walked by the starting pitcher. This would not be a good day to do it.
Game time is 11:20PM PST.
Tim Lincecum had his last start of Spring Training, and went 81 pitches across 4.2 innings, and how many earned runs or hits he gave up isn’t exactly what you should care about, but the velocity, and location of his pitches should be what you’re looking at a little closer. With that, I GIF’d a bunch of Lincecum’s pitches last night in case you missed his start.
Broken bat for a hit? No big deal. If Buster Posey is setting up at a spot and Lincecum hit it, that’s all I care about in Spring Training.
That 92 was the top velocity Lincecum would hit on his fastball.
4th inning and still able to hit spots was a good sign, although I thought he was missing his spots more often as the game went on.
GIF’d that fastball since it had a little run to it. So he’s still got that weapon, wondering if he’s just figuring out how to use it again.
Gotta have your breaking pitches, and if you’re going to leave them up like that, might as well make it early in the count. Ryan Vogelsong would approve.
This was happening a fair amount: breaking balls in the dirt. Buster made an effort for some of them, but didn’t go all out on the rest, just letting Spring Training do its thing. That’s going to be something Lincecum has to work on, is consistently having his breaking pitches start a little higher so his catchers aren’t tired by the 2nd inning.
Breaking Ball — Slider or Splitter
The key for Lincecum is to have this pitch start at a little above the knees so the hitter thinks it’s going to be a strike and then ho-ho-ho, son, look what just fell out of the zone.
That one was a beautiful pitch. I’ll have more of those, please.
Coco Crisp thought that was going to be a fastball.
So we see that Tim Lincecum is still there, but it’s a matter of him finding himself. Giants will need that Tim Lincecum this year because Barry Zito probably is not going to be white unicorning it in the regular season. Overall, the broadcast booth was pleased with the outing, and I gotta say I was, too. Fastball was a decent velocity, he hit his spots most of the ti–
Shut up, Yoenis Cespedes.
But yes, good final start of Spring Training.
Brandon Crawford plays pretty good defense
Angel Pagan is still playing World Baseball Classic defense
Not even sure how he got on the ground, but whatever. Really hoping that defense gets cleaned up for the regular season. I didn’t enjoy him doing dumb things in the OF during the WBC with Puerto Rico.
Tim Lincecum has a blister on his middle finger, and it still isn’t well enough to wear the Giants staff wants him to pitch in a real live game. Today’s game against the Indians will make for his second consecutive start where he will get scratched, the first being Saturday’s split-squad game against the Cubs. Bruce Bochy drives home the fact that “there is still time,” and you may be thinking, and quite fairly so, “How much?” Spring Training is a little longer this year thanks to the World Baseball Classic, and at this time last year the games were just getting started, so news of so-and-so getting scratched for precautionary reasons is not new to early March. The Giants regular season schedule for the first couple weeks looks like this:
One day off in the first couple weeks will cure our desire for regular season Giants baseball, but it also means that the last day the Giants will need a fifth start is Wednesday, April 10th. So that means Tim Lincecum has nearly five weeks to get into game shape if he even needs like long, and I’m guessing he won’t.
Tommy John surgery, man, it can take you out, and Rafael Furcal is its latest victim, so look for Pete Kozma to take his place. If you have a fantasy baseball draft soon, don’t take Furcal. That’s my pro-tip of fantasy advice.
Trevor Rosenthal of the Cardinals has also been moved to the bullpen, meaning that competition to make the St. Louis rotation becomes that much easier for guys like Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller, two postseason contributors who are obviously already on the 40-man roster.
The Sandman will do a Chipper
Buster Olney is saying that on Saturday, Mariano Rivera will announce he will retire after this year, which will set off a farewell tour like what Chipper Jones went through last year with the Braves. For relievers with more than 500 IP, Rivera leads ‘em all in ERA (2.05), FIP (2.65), fWAR (38.9), and yes, even those Saves (608). Truly a pitching great whose cutter we could marvel at, and in 2013, we’ll get one last chance to do so.
With Spring Training happening now, prospect lists are coming out, from Baseball America and MLB most notably, fans start to compare farm systems and search within themselves how much that farm system matters to how they feel about their team. If you’re the Cardinals, you take pride in knowing the club you have at the major league level is of very good quality, and your farm provides plenty of promise. If you’re the Padres, you hold out hope for the future, because your farm has been good for some time while fans in San Diego have been left with a 2010 rush but not much else recently. If you’re a fan of the Giants, you’ve been given proof in postseasons and parades that the team at the major league level is worthy of being taken seriously, while the system may not be as top-heavy as it has been in the past, so you wonder how long the current MLB club can hold on until you will need reinforcements from the farm, not just on journeymen AAAA players.
While many of the Top 10 prospects of national lists have an estimated time of arrival in 2013, the MLB should expect to see plenty of new, highly-touted arms and bats before the end of the season, we’re not sure who from the Top 10 lists (or really any list) of San Francisco Giants minor leaguers that haven’t had their shot will crack the 2013 rosters AND be a useful piece.
Sure, Francisco Peguero could be useful here and there if one of the corner outfielders find the disabled list, but I haven’t seen a recent report that suggests he has the profile for an everyday spot. Gary Brown, the former number one prospect of the Giants could be that guy, especially with his strong second half he put up in Double-A Richmond. Roger Kieschnick‘s name got whispered last year by some fans, and he’s on the 40-man.
Conor Gillaspie has 48 PA across three different seasons, and you just hope he’ll be a good backup when the time comes, and you hope the same for the featured Fanfest kid Nick Noonan. All we’ve heard about Kensuke Tanaka is from Marty and his “Japanese feet.” Brock Bond has a cool name. That’s pretty much it when it comes to Giants prospects and who makes their living on the dirt.
The big names are all years away, although Chris Heston could be of use if one of the five go down. If he’s no good, then the Giants will probably draw from the AAA well, none of the others being prospects, mmmmaybe before checking in on Michael Kickham. Eric Surkamp is the wild card in all this, who says he’ll start resuming activities in July. Keep all this in mind as you consider whose contracts and service time with the Champs could be coming to a close after 2013.
If there’s anything we’ve seen with Sabean in the last few years, it’s that he’s got this, and this year he may not have to even trade any fringe major leaguers to shore up the ‘pen. Prospect Heath Hembree, still thought by Jonathan Mayo to be a potential closer, could start the year in Fresno and then force the issue after the first month of the season if someone in the bullpen goes down or gets consistently lit up. Perhaps Bochy sees that the front office calls up son Bret Bochy. Jason Martinez of MLBDepthCharts (who also wrote a “window of opportunity” article for ESPN that you should read) also has minor leaguers Jake Dunning and Fabio Castillo as other names to watch that haven’t had a taste of the Major League coffee yet.
Whose Swan Song Might 2013 Be
The Giants have about $70MM of their nearly $140MM budget committed to their rotation this year, but this could be the last year San Francisco pays to have two guys in Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito on their roster. Unless Ryan Vogelsong magically disappears this year, his $6.5MM option will be picked up, and the Giants will still be left wondering who to fill in to the 4th and 5th spots of the rotation with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner still leading a formidable 1-2 punch out of the gates. Do they commit the money that comes off the books to pitching? Posey? (<–the right answer. your argument is invalid.) Other offense?
The Giants got Hunter Pence for his bat, but his price tag is also very high, but one wonders how much it goes down if he continues what he did as a Giant in the regular season in 2013. If it doesn’t, though, do the Giants put out? Andres Torres, Javier Lopez, and Jose Mijares might also be tipping their caps to SF when the last game ends.
The Future is, and has been, now
Since the Giants have had a stable of young arms (plus Zito), people wondered what would happen if a team drew San Francisco in a best-of-series. 2010 was pretty much what some thought could happen, even if it did with a group of misfits. 2012 was a different set of happenings because the Giants went from three guys they could rely on with Jonathan Sanchez either walking everyone or finding his release point in ’10 to now in three guys and omg what about Lincecum and Zito? Still though, if you have a good to great rotation, and a strong top three for the playoffs, life might not be so bad for you (part of the reason why teams like the Nationals and Tigers should scare you). After this year, the questions arise: Who will be that #4? #5? Who will pick up the offense for an aging Marco Scutaro? (I’m pretty certain he isn’t going to be hitting what he did from acquisition & playoffs throughout his contract time.) Can Gary Brown be an answer?
This doesn’t mean that this is the very last year the Giants will compete in forever, but I believe if Lincecum is let go (which could be the right move in the long-term), and another offensive piece is not found/brought on, 2014 will be a difficult year with some of the top prospects starting to knock on the door for 2015. Therefore, if any big injuries happen to the rotation, or to the offense in 2013, Giants fans could find themselves grumbling for a couple of years before they can realistically start dreaming of parades again. Hopefully, health will be on their side, and everyone’s side, for that matter.
Lots happened this weekend in Giants news before they headed out to Scottsdale, but we really only spent time talking about Tim Lincecum because we’re a society obsessed with image. I’m obsessed with my image and you know what, it got me married, so it ain’t all bad (or maybe…). Here’s what we discovered:
Tim got a haircut and he’s OK with it!
— Ann Killion (@annkillion) February 8, 2013
Pablo still loves everybody
Everybody loves FanFest, and the cameras at FanFest
Impersonations are always fine if everybody can do it
— Sara (@gidget) February 10, 2013
And maybe… just maybe…
I hope this blog post didn’t make your computer crash. I’m new to doing all this in one blog post, so we’ll try this out now before the regular season begins.
Lastly, a great photo from San Diego’s FanFest
— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) February 10, 2013
Baseball’s comin’ back, everybody.