Season in Review: Tim Lincecum

Last year I tried to review everyone on the Giants on my own blog site. I think I wrote about five guys (no, not that Five Guys) and then moved on to something else. Therefore, I thought it’d be a good idea to have some help and editor Bryan said he’d contribute with some names, too. I also thought he’d be done reviewing all of the guys he said he’d take by now, but in terms of player review blog posts, he’s like the Detroit Tigers offense in the World Series in that he’s a little late to the party, but don’t worry, he’ll show up with his. We’re going to kick things off with Mr. Lincecum, the man who told the Giants to shove their 5/$100MM offer  because he was worth eight years of that AAV, gosh darnit.

Season in a Word

Frustrating

Why That Word

For a guy that had consistently put up over 200 innings and 200 strikeouts in four consecutive seasons with only one fluky month to really make the fanbase worry, his 2012 starts were essentially a whole August 2011 on repeat. Awards shouldn’t change how you look at a guy, but it didn’t take a couple Cy Youngs in not-Tim Lincecum‘s possession to know he was a special talent. Most of us thought his yucky Spring Training numbers were meaningless until the nightmare wouldn’t stop. We would even get visits from father Chris Lincecum over the course of the year in interviews and rumors. Those were fun times.

Most of Tim’s season felt like this:

More than it did like this:

Gah, he was getting beat up a lot this year. You may have heard that Timmy is working to put on some weight this offseason and there was a photo phloating around that he’d cut his hair to near 2007 length. Maybe it is an attitude thing. Maybe it’s a mechanical thing. What we do know is that he still has it. Don’t take my word for it, the proof is in the MLBAM:

When the Giants moved Lincecum to the bullpen in the postseason, the world was reminded all of a sudden that The Freak still exists. We were happy for him being back, whether you’re on Team LetTimmySmoke or Team WatchTimmyGetSmoked. Timmy got his second ring in three years, but it’s up to him to figure everything out before the next season starts. Lucky for him though, there is no legitimate threat of him being sent to the bullpen to turning into the super-reliever he could become because who would replace his spot in the rotation? No notable prospect looks to be ready until 2014 at the very earliest to replace Timmy, so I imagine he knows he has a spot in the rotation as well, though it might be as the #4 starting pitcher. The Front Office hasn’t sounded to be in any rush to evaluate Lincecum’s long-term status with the World Champs, but if he gets back on the horse right away in 2013, expect the clamor for a long-term deal to heat up right away since he’s supposed to hit free agency next year. That’s a reasonably-sized “if,” though, and I question whether the Giants, after all of Lincecum’s struggles, would do something in-season for Timmy.

Voluntary date for Pitchers and Catchers to report is on February 12th, 2013. Mandatory date for everyone (non-WBC related) to report is eight days later on February 20th.

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