By: Dawson Wright
On Monday Lincecum signed a deal with the Texas Rangers. Lincecum has signed a major league deal, and it looks like he will be apart of the bullpen.
Now this article won’t only be about whether he can make a comeback to the MLB, I mean he has a major league contract, so I guess technically that goal is complete. But we are going to be discussing whether Lincecum can become a starting pitcher again, and the possibility of him returning to his Cy Young Form!
So with all of that out of the way, let’s go ahead and get started.
Tim Lincecum used to be one of the most elite pitchers in baseball. He came up during the 2007 with the Giants and looked promising. During that 2007 season he went 7-5 with an even 4.00 ERA.
But the 2008 and 2009 seasons are where Lincecum started to show his signs of greatness.
During the 2008 season, Lincecum had a career best 18-5 record, with a 2.62 ERA, as that year Lincencum took home his first Cy Young award.
The following year Lincecum did even better. Posting a 2.48 ERA, Tim looked unstoppable as he took home his second Cy Young.
But in 2010 Lincecum hit a bit of a road block. Tim posted a 3.43 ERA which was almost an entire point higher point higher than last year. Even with Lincecum doing a bit worse, the Giants were doing a lot better. The Giants ended up winning the division on the last day of the season and began their World Series run.
Lincecum did pretty decent, and he threw a complete game shutout in Game 1 of the NLDS against Atlanta. And he ended up getting his first ring.
2011, Lincecum bounced back, posting a 2.74 ERA, but he still wasn’t the same Cy Young pitcher from 2008 and 2009.
But in 2012, Lincecum clearly wasn’t anywhere close to the promising star he once was. Lincecum posted a 5.18 ERA, which at the time was a career high. Lincecum was so bad that season, during the playoffs, Barry Zito beat him out for a spot in the rotation.
The following years continued to be a struggle. Sure, he threw two no-hitters against some really bad Padres teams, but his numbers were far worse than average for him.
Lincecum had hip surgery during the 2015 season, and was an unsigned free agent in 2016, until May 20th, where he signed a contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
Lincecum was...absolutely awful with the Angels, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. He posted a 9.16 ERA in only 9 games.
And after his short stint with the Angels, Lincecum disappeared. He went unsigned during the 2017 season, and didn’t play a single game. He was completely gone from the public eye, and that’s how he wanted it. Everyone just thought Tim Lincecum was gone.
This was until December 20th, when Rockies pitcher Adam Ottavino posted this picture of a short-haired, Lincecum at Driveline Baseball. With how boring the recent off-season was, it wasn’t a surprise to see this picture circle everywhere around the baseball community. I mean look at that...Tim looks absolutely ripped.
Photo via Adam Ottavino/Instagram
Last month, Lincecum held a showcase for stats to go see him. According to a few reports, Lincecum’s fastball topped out at 93 MPH which, still isn’t as good as a high 90s young Lincecum, but after hip surgery, 93 MPH is very good.
Then, four days ago, reports come out that Lincecum has signed a major league contract with the Texas Rangers. It has been reported that Lincecum will be likely to join the bullpen, but there are possibilities for him to be a starter.
Looking at the Rangers going in to next season, they aren’t the best team. I mean their rotation isn’t horrible, and Lincecum getting a starting spot is totally possible.
I don’t think he will get a starting spot at the beginning of the season though. With how far we have gotten in spring training with him not there yet, I don’t really see it.
But if one of the pitchers gets injured, or they suck, or whatever the case is. This can be Lincecum’s comeback. This can be his chance to become a full-time starter again, and a possible two or three in the rotation.
I mean I suppose there’s Bartolo Colon, but he should be the one starter because it’s Big Sexy.
But I know there’s going to be somebody who’s going to say how I’m talking about a guy who had over a 9 ERA with his last team and hasn’t pitched in over a year. And I know, but I’m also talking about the freak. The guy that shut down lineups like it’s nothing. The 2 time Cy Young award winner
He’s not the same guy he was with the Angels now. He’s hungrier than ever, and I seriously believe he can become a full time starter again.