The 2012 season has been a forgettable one for San Francisco Giants No. 1 starter Tim Lincecum. The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner has been awful through his first 14 starts this year, and now the team is considering moving the 28-year-old to the bullpen to figure out whatever the heck is going on with him.
Lincecum is currently 2-8 with a 6.19 ERA and a ridiculous 1.57 WHIP. In 77 innings he has allowed 80 hits, 55 runs (53 earned), with 83 strikeouts and 41 walks. Those numbers are horrific when you consider just how good the Washington product has been over the past few seasons.
The Giants trotted Lincecum out to the bump on Sunday against his hometown team, the Seattle Mariners, but that didn’t go so well. He served up two first-inning home runs to an anemic lineup and surrendered five earned runs in five innings.
Lincecum hasn’t won a game since April 28, that’s a nine-start streak during which time he is 0-6. The Giants haven’t won any of his starts in that time. He has also allowed four or more earned runs in 10 of his 14 starts this season.
The time to pull Lincecum from the rotation and either rest him or let him work out some issues in the bullpen would be now, especially with the team trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by five games in the NL West.
San Francisco currently has no plans to move Lincecum from the rotation. But the franchise has made similar moves with Matt Cain and Barry Zito when they have struggled in the past, so it’s not like this would be a crazy, out-of-nowhere move.
Something has to be done because Lincecum just isn’t himself right now. Maybe his crazy delivery has finally had the taxing effect on his arm that many predicted it would. His velocity is down this year, and his control isn’t where it usually is. Something is up and the Giants need to figure it out or they will have no chance to catch the Dodgers.