With the season starting in just a little over a month, manager Bruce Bochy has officially named Matt Cain as the San Francisco Giants Opening Day starter. Cain will get to lead the Giants in the start of the 2013 season against the Los Angeles Dodgers Ace, Clayton Kershaw.
Cain has always been a workhorse for the Giants, and has pitched over 200 innings in six straight years for the Giants. The Bill James Handbook projects Cain to go 17-8 with a 2.95 ERA in 2013. There is no question in my mind that he deserves the Opening Day start.
However, Cain’s gain means Tim Lincecum‘s loss. Lincecum’s streak of being the Giants Opening Day starter in four consecutive years will come to an end. I’m sure Lincecum understands and has no hard feelings. Lincecum is in his contract year, and The Bill James Handbook projects him to go 13-9 with a 3.47 ERA.. This doesn’t exactly scream ace pitcher.
I do believe Lincecum will turn it around this year, and will be a key component in the Giants rotation. The entire baseball world got to witness what he did when he was focused in the 2012 playoffs. He’s going to build off that and turn things around in 2013. Lincecum’s going to make sure he’s ready for every start, and get himself in position to cash in this off-season. He already came to camp in better shape than past years. Bochy says Lincecum looks really good in his bullpen sessions, and he’s excited to see him pitch in Spring Training games. Who knows, maybe the Giants will name him the number four starter and let him get the Giants home opener.