I wrote an article a couple days ago about Tim Lincecum pitching out of the bullpen instead of the rotation, which many seemed to disagree with. I do believe Lincecum will rebound in the rotation, but I believe he would be worth more out of the pen.
Depending on how the Lincecum situation pans out, there are a couple different ways that you can project the San Francisco Giants pitching rotation without just moving around the same five names. The way most people are projecting it would have Matt Cain as the ace, Madison Bumgarner as the solid number two, then Lincecum third followed by Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito as the fourth and fifth starters respectively.
The way I see this rotation involves a free agent signing that would make the rotation look even better and the bullpen much stronger with the addition of Lincecum. Cain is of course an ace. I really like Bumgarner even though he didn’t pitch well in the playoffs last year. After a long season for a young pitcher in a stressful situation, I’m willing to give him a pass. Posting a 16-11 record while throwing 208 1/3 with a 3.37 ERA. That era isn’t amazing given where he pitches home games, but when you win sixteen games for a team that doesn’t give you very much run support, you are doing something right.
I think the addition of Kyle Lohse would make a lot of sense as I’ve talked about in articles past. Imagine adding a guy who verified himself as a number one starter last year to be your number three. Yes he would cost a lot of money (between $14-17 million for one year), but this addition could be fantastic for San Francisco.
My fourth and fifth starters are the same but using my rotation allows Lincecum to go into the pen and really solidify the middle of the game. Other than Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt, this bullpen is not very good. Adding a guy who can dominate the way Lincecum did during the playoffs and allowing him to pitch every two or three days instead of five would be amazing.
If Lincecum does pitch out of the pen and does what he did in the 2012 playoffs for an entire season, he could propel this team a little farther ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.