Results tagged ‘ Tim Lincecum ’

Tim Lincecum Taken Out By a Line Drive to the Leg, Doesn’t Know If He Will Miss Next Start

On Friday night at AT&T Park in a Spring Training game between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants, you may have heard the stadium go silent in the 4th inning. It happened when Daric Barton hit a screamer right back up the middle that went off of the left leg, Lincecum’s landing leg when he pitches. Lincecum did his best to stay up and walk it off, but it wasn’t happening, as he would fall to the ground, pointing to the back of his left knee as the Giants trainers tended to him. He was assisted off the field with a man on each side, making an effort to put weight on his left leg as he walked off.

If Lincecum’s out, as Baggs said, the Giants could load up on eight relievers, which means Derek Law could get some big-league time, which would be cool for him. Front office has given hints though that they’d want him to go down once Law’s at the MLB level. So, could Edwin Escobar get called up? I believe he’s the story like Law is, so no to that one. With Timmy’s statement, it looks like we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see where we’re at. So until then, enjoy the last thirty seconds of these Sweet 16 games.

One More Year for Each Ring: Lincecum Gets Two Year/$35MM Deal

Here is a free agent list of pitchers. The Giants just took one off the list and gave him a full no-trade clause (which in the end could mean nothing if $omeone give$ him the right rea$on$ for ignoring it). Tim Lincecum is back as a Giant, which might be sweet music to a lot of Giants fans ears, but immediately the question to volley back is, “Is it worth it?” No matter what argument I present, there will be people that agree and disagree.

Lincecum has been a head-case for me in terms of his performance the past two seasons, despite contributing to a World Champion team in 2012. He nearly reached 200 IP as he had been doing since 2008 (only 186 IP in 2012), but fell short at 197.2. His combined fWAR of 2.5 in 2012 and 2013 is less than any other season he has pitched in a Giants uniform.  We have seen his K% be as high as 28.8% in 2009 to as low as 23.0% in 2012-2013. 23.0% still put him at 21st in the ML for qualified starters in 2013. He did have his lowest BB% since 2010 (8.5%) as he walked 9.0% in 2013. His velocity has decreased on his fastball, as happens with most human beings. Going forward, if his average velocity on the fastball drops more, he is going to need improved command, and that tended to escape him at times during the season, especially with his fastball. His splitter is still an exceptional pitch, and the curveball can flash greatness when it’s on, but not to the level of elite.

This move is probably an overpay, but how many starters on that list could you have had for the upside that Timmy has, and for the years he signed to? You would probably be paying for more of a sure thing with Bronson Arroyo and A.J. Burnett, but nothing sells off the shelves in the off-season like the “Let Timmy Smoke” shirts. I like that Timmy is coming back because what’s on the market right now does not appear to be enough to take on the West.

Here are some reactions from the internet, in case you were curious:

So there you have it, the opinions of social media. So the Giants have Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Tim Lincecum locked in to their rotation, with the current team at around $97.1MM for 2014 as Lincecum gets the first $17MM of his contract in 2013. You can look at this deal one way similarly to how you viewed the Hunter Pence deal: this contract just beefed up the moneys for everybody else searching for a quality starting pitcher, whether by free agency or by trade.

The Giants have taken care of most of their foreseeably expensive additions, maybe another starter can be added if the payroll ceiling is bumped up, but you have three starters, a bullpen that doesn’t need to be expensive (but Javier Lopez will be added back to it in time), seven of the eight non-pitchers for sure coming back in the starting lineup. We’ll continue to see what Sabean and company do to field a more competitive team in 2014.

DeceivinGIFCap: Giants play game against Rockies on a Friday and wore orange

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!

Todd Helton tried to take second against Gregor Blanco, but he was just being silly!

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!

Lineups Posted: Pagan’s back vs. a pretty good Kyle Kendrick

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:

Laynce Nix playing tonight instead of Delmon Young. The Giants show off their lineup:

Brandon Belt moves up a spot in the order, and Gregor Blanco comes in against the RHP.

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.

Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 3.51.00 PM

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).

Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 3.51.11 PM

 

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.

Lineups: #SFGiants continue NL West stretch in San Diego

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:

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:

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.

Screen shot 2013-04-26 at 5.52.47 PM

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.

Screen shot 2013-04-26 at 5.52.40 PM

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.

Lineups Posted and Edited: Fireballer Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Pads vs. #SFGiants

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:

and the root, root root for the home team:

This will be the first time this regular season that Buster Posey has caught Tim Lincecum. Finally.

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.

Screen shot 2013-04-20 at 5.02.35 PMIf 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:

Screen shot 2013-04-20 at 5.02.50 PM

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.

Pulse Check: Sixteen games in for the #SFGiants

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.

Lineups Posted: Maybe someone will issue a walk today

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.

After three straight games with a total of no hits, a couple walks, and a HBP, Buster Posey gets a day off today on a Tim Lincecum start.

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:

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:

vs. Dodgers

Screen shot 2013-04-14 at 8.43.09 AM

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:

Screen shot 2013-04-14 at 8.42.42 AM

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.

GIFPost: Tim Lincecum’s Final Tune-Up

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.

Fastball

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.

Curveball

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.

Other GIFs

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’s Blister and other notes

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:

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 9.11.21 AM

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.

Bird Movements

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,656 other followers