NL West Notes: Lincecum, Bauer, Rockies

The Dodgers, who have averaged 85 wins per year in six seasons under GM Ned Colletti, are on pace for 97 wins despite their poor showing against the Athletics this week. Here are the latest NL West links…

  • Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he intends to make some changes to his pitching approach "It's almost like I'm pitching backwards now," he said. "Like I'm a wuss thrower. I've got to start utilizing my fastball." Nightengale discussed the differences between this version of Lincecum and the two-time Cy Young Award winner in a detailed piece. "It's hard to believe it's the same guy,” one scout said.
  • The Diamondbacks are "in no rush" to promote Trevor Bauer, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic notes. Bauer visited with some Diamondbacks officials yesterday to familiarize himself with the organization. But the team is “not trying to clone people here” GM  Kevin Towers said in reference to Bauer’s quirks.
  • Rockies manager Jim Tracy told Jake Kaplan of that it's hard to get a read on the effectiveness of the team's four-man rotation so early on. “What we've seen the first two days is real similar to what I've been dealing with an awful lot this season," Tracy said.
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs proposed an alternate method of managing a pitching staff earlier in the week, in case you missed it.

17 Responses to NL West Notes: Lincecum, Bauer, Rockies Leave a Reply

  1. James Attwood 3 years ago

    Tim Lincecum has remained blessedly healthy and uninjured throughout his career. But his mechanics have always given the PTBs pause. For the last five years he has been proving those powers wrong. Looks like it is finally catching up to him though. He may never actually go on the Dl over his mechanics, but it is hard to imagine that those same quirky mechanics are not a direct contributor to the sudden drop-off.

  2. garylanglais 3 years ago

    I had gotten the feeling Lincecum had turned into a 2-pitch pitcher (FB and Ch) this year. But Fangraphs has his pitch percentages in line with previous years.  He remains a FB/Ch about 80% and SL/CB the other 20%. Only real change is a 1+ mph drop on his FB velocity.

    Guess this leaves me as confused as the Giants

    • laffingrass 3 years ago

       1mph can make a huge difference between getting it past guys up in the zone and getting hit hard. Lincecum’s GB% is down about 6 points while his LD% is up about 7.

      Decreased velocity, for a pitcher that relies on it, changes a career. I get the feeling that Lincecum hasn’t had to learn how to pitch when his FB velocity was down. He had the ability to sneak 93+ past guys, but at 90-91 he becomes much more hittable. Not to mention his BB rate is up slightly.

      The good news is that his FIP and xFIP are sitting around 3.80-3.90. Not the best, but very respectable. He isn’t pitching as good as he was the past few seasons, but he’s certainly not pitching to the tune of a 6.19 ERA.

      • sf55forlife 3 years ago

        watching the games you can see that most of his struggles are from out of the stretch. He loses his control and his stuff gets hard or just isn’t in the strike zone. Once someone gets on base the floodgates open and he gets hurt by big innings. 

        His stuff looks perfectly fine in his last few starts. Good movement, good velocity but he just isn’t hitting his spots with runners on base.

      • garylanglais 3 years ago

        I dont think its that easy to just point to decreased velocity but definitely a significant factor.

        2008: FB velocity was 94 (highest in career)
        2009: FB velocity was 92.4

        Those were the two years he won back-to-back Cy Young awards and no one was concerned with dropped velocity then. 

        2010: dropped to 91.2 (lowest until this year)
        2011: back up to 92.2

        Until this year, in 2010 Lincecum posted career highs in ERA, WHIP, H/9 (if dont count his half 2007 season)

        2011 he rebounded and now this year he’s down to career-low 90.4 mph on FB velocity.  It appears he has most success when FB is 92 or above and he’s a near 2 mph short of that this year

        • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

          I’m wondering if Lincecum stays healthy…if he’ll settle into a Bret Saberhagen odd year type of pattern.  His mechanics wouldn’t take much to get out of whack.  He could very well go through on again off again struggles.

  3. 55saveslives 3 years ago

    Hopefully talking to his dad settles things.  Chris Lincecum designed his mechanics and acts as personal coach.  In recent years, Timmy hasn’t talked baseball with him…trying to be a “man” and fix things himself.  I think it’s a pride thing.

    Many athletes have personal coaches.  Chris has always been able to correct it before.

    • monroe_says 3 years ago

      I hope you’re right, but i found his dad’s comments in the USA Today piece somewhat alarming. Angry to the point of being potentially toxic. He’s clearly under the impression that Tim is not being given the proper respect in SF, which seems wildly off-base to me.

      • Whole_New_World 3 years ago

        Agreed. Zito still has rope to play with SF. It’s pretty obvious the org and fans have given Tim plenty of space and time to self-correct. But, a person is going to believe what he wants to believe. If Tim really wants to go home to Seattle (or wherever) then the old “the Giants really weren’t very good to me” mentality would be helpful for his exit.

  4. Come home to Seattle on a discount when that contract is up Lincecum. Let Safeco help you out. Imagine if everything pans out… The rotation that could be… Felix/Lincecum/Hultzen/Walker/Paxton.

    • Whole_New_World 3 years ago

       By all means. Regardless of how Tim is pitching by 2014, he should go home.

    • Wilsonl 3 years ago

      So where are you going to get the payroll money from?

      • $ from TV Contract… M’s are def opting out of there fsn/root deal in 2015.

  5. RepOak 3 years ago

    It’s not mechanics, something is obviously physically wrong. He dropped 6 mph in just 6 innings on his fastball in his last start. He was blowing his fastball past guys with ease in the first 2 innings. By the 6th his fastest was 86mph. People are blind if they’re going to blame that on simply mechanics.

  6. I have studied Linecum in depth and feel confident what his issue is. His previous years his spine tile has been about 10 degrees to left of center. This means torque in every pitch he throws hence the lower MPH’s on his fastball. The fix is simple – bend that spine Freak and watch your velocity increase. Additionally, the lack of spine tilt is the primary reason why his change blows. His change is primarily a cement mixer with no drop.

    Watch his motion this year and compare to last. I’ve looked at 100’s of videos – if I’m wrong I’ll buy myself a beer.

    • Whole_New_World 3 years ago

       If you’re right and the G’s management is tuned in to this frequency, I’ll buy you a barrel ‘o beer.

  7. northsfbay 3 years ago

    Giants pitching coach said that Lincecum’s velocity is down. He can’t get away with pitches that he used to get away with. He is older and he has to learn how to pitch.

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