By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard
Tim Lincecum was, at one point, arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Between 2008-2010 he was damn near unhittable. Winning two Cy Young awards and leading the National League in strikeouts for three straight years and snatching a couple of World Series titles to boot. Now he is just another minor leaguer hoping for another chance in ‘The Show’. A man whose career may be done at the tender age of 32.
Nicknamed ‘The Freak’ he’s a power pitcher with a small frame (5’11” and 170 lbs soaking wet). His career started to go sideways somewhere around 2011-2012. The control began to wander and the dominance wasn’t there each and every start. In 2015 he was diagnosed with degenerative hips and had a forearm injury. It took him nearly a year before he pitched in another major league game.
As much as it hurt the San Francisco Giants, Lincecum wasn’t resigned after the 2015 season. He was the face of the franchise for five or six years. He refused to quit though. He rehabbed his way back and worked out a deal with the Los Angeles Angels. While he showed promise in his first start (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 SO). Since then it’s pretty much been downhill to the point that the Angels released Lincecum this past weekend. He is now heading to the minor leagues with the hope of finding his form and making it back to the majors.
This may sound a little like an obit for a former two time Cy Young Award winner but it’s not.
Can Lincecum find his old form? It’s doubtful but he’s not going to stop trying. All pitchers, in particularly power pitches, have to, at some point, transform from being a power pitcher to a control pitcher. Their control has to be flawless. Their off speed stuff needs to become strikeout material. They need to adapt. Lincecum is willing and trying to do that. The results are just not there as of yet.
It’s hard to say but it will be interesting to see if Linecum can become a major league pitcher again. He has to find the pitches and delivery that work for him. He might be able to do that in AAA baseball but then again the league where he will be going, the Pacific Coast League, is know to be a hitters league. Best of luck Freak.