Lincecum (10-15, 5.18 ERA), who has gone 79-56 with a 3.31 ERA since debuting in “The City by the Bay” in May 2007, struggled mightily last year and saw his heater decline from 94.1 mph in 2008 to 90.4.
The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, drafted by the Giants out of the University of Washington with the tenth overall pick in 2006, also suffered from a lack confidence, and swagger, and unsuccessfully battled command issues.
“He’s got to pitch to contact and throw more strikes,” said Sabean, 57, the 2003 Executive of the Year who has overseen the organization as its captured The Commissioners Trophy in 2010 and 2012. “His fastball is not gonna come back, per se. When that happens, you need to increase your ability to get guys out in three pitches or less. We’ll see if he’s going to make those kinds of adjustments.”
“The Franchise,” a three-time strikeout titlist, who in 2011 fanned 220 batters in 217 innings for a slim 2.74 ERA, has always relied heavily on his heater and such a reduction in speed essentially equates to Lincecum lobbing pitches across the plate.
Last season, Lincecum somehow managed to shed 30-pounds off his already puny frame and the notoriously twiggy flamethrower morphed into a middling pitcher.
Nevertheless, provided “the Freak” is properly nourished and not built like Kate Moss, the 28-year-old Lincecum can absolutely relocate “his fastball” and recapture a place alongside baseball’s most dominating hurlers.
Lincecum, an admitted lover of cannabis sativa who recorded a 1450 on the SAT test, needs to consistently get the munchies and eat like a savage.
Overcoming fleeting bravado and electricity on the hill, Lincecum, a four-time All-Star selection, will also “make those kind(s) of adjustments” and again own “The Paris of the West.”
Tim Lincecum will return to being “The Freak” that supporters of “Los Gigantes” love this summer.by