Are Tim Lincecum's Days Numbered as San Francisco Giants' Starter?

By Brian Spaen

It’s been a struggle for San Francisco Giants‘ pitcher Tim Linceum, with two straight losing seasons and his earned run average boiling at a high 5.18 at the end of last year. With his career almost being resurrected in multiple relief efforts out of the bullpen during the postseason a year ago, is that where Lincecum is destined if this season doesn’t get off to a better start?

Last season marked the first time Lincecum pitched under 200 innings (186), given up over 100 earned runs (107) and recorded less than 200 strikeouts (190) all since making his name known in 2008.

The start to this season hasn’t been much better. It took a valiant effort offensively by the Giants to give Lincecum a no decision on Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies, coming back down by four runs after he gave up six.

Lincecum didn’t give up any earned runs in his season debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but still gave up three hits and walked seven batters in five innings pitched. His walks-to-strikeout ratio evened out after his last start with 11 apiece.

All the starters have been having a little trouble in their second go-around for the Giants, but the problem for Lincecum is that it’s been a trending issue since last year. With an October of giving up just nine hits, five runs, five walks, and nailing 20 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched, it might be time for the organization to look at the bigger picture and realize that Lincecum may not be able to give the team six-plus innings out of the gate anymore.

There’s still time for “Big Time Timmy Jim” to get things going as no move is expected anytime soon, but his days are certainly limited if the downward trend continues.

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