Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:13 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 5:32 pm
 


By C. Trent Rosecrans

So, would you rather have a King or a Freak?

Today's Would You Rather Have isn't easy, that's for sure. We're talking about two of the best pitchers in the game, two right-handers both in their 20s and two guys who lost 14 games in 2011. You want proof that wins is an overrated statistic when it comes to judging a starting pitcher? Felix Hernandez was a .500 pitcher in 2011 and Tim Lincecum was a sub-.500 pitcher. You think either of those guys is a scrub? Yeah, not so much.

The case for Linecum

Lincecum has two Cy Young Awards under his belt before his 28th birthday (this June, by the way) and has thrown at least 212 innings in each of his first four full seasons in the big leagues and he's led the league in strikeouts in the first three of those seasons.

Last season Lincecum went 13-14, but he still had a 2.74 ERA, a 130 ERA+ and a 3.36 xFIP. He also struck out better than a batter an inning and recorded a 1.207 WHIP, while allowing just .6 homers per nine innings.

The case for Hernandez

Hernandez has just one Cy Young, but he arguably deserved another. Oh, and he's not even 26 yet (his birthday is in April). Hernandez came up as a 19-year-old, so he already has seven seasons under his belt, so while young he's hardly inexperienced.

Would You Rather Have
Since his 22nd birthday, Hernandez has thrown at least 200 innings a year, including his 2010 Cy Young year when he was an out from 250 innings on the season.Last season he was 14-14 with a 3.47 ERA but saw his strikeout rate rise to a career-bet 8.6 per nine innings, while his walk rate increased by just a hair.

As for contract status, neither comes cheap -- nor is either locked up long-term. Hernandez is signed through 2014 for a total of $59.5 million, while Lincecum has two more years of arbitration before becoming a free agent after 2013. Lincecum made $14 million last season and has asked for $21.5 million in arbitration this winter, while the Giants are offering $17 million.

Our call

There's no wrong answer to this (and no right answer, for that matter), both are amazing talents. I'd expect the poll to be pretty split. Both pitchers are young, durable and dominant. Both pitchers have home parks that are pitcher-friendly and the money is nearly a wash. There have been injury concerns about both, Hernandez because of his workload and Lincecum because of his slight frame, but neither has had serious injuries. In the end, I'll take Hernandez for his youth, experience and one more year of team control (plus cost certainty).

Fan Vote: Would you rather have Lincecum or Hernandez on your favorite team?



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Comments

Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:32 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Wins are definitely overrated and are often a case of circumstance.
I understand your point, but there have been pitchers who were able to win games because of their awareness of what it takes to win. Circumstances WILL affect the outcome from time to time, that I will not dismiss, but cannot be made as the primary excuse for losses. Pitchers who win consistently usually do so for a reason.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:52 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

The Giants are champs?  Didn't they MISS the post season this year?





Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:35 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Hawk man aka genius, call it a night, you, your SeaChickens , Mariners and king Felix ( who I saw got shelled at Safeco on a trip to Seattle last summer, big disappointment) are obsolete . You are the chumps, we ( Lincecum/ giants) are the champs. Learn about it son, you're truant.



Since: Oct 27, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:29 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

@notwhatuthink - well, in this case it's not what YOU think. Wins are completely overrated in baseball. You can be a pitcher on the Yankees geeting 6+ runs of support a game, like AJ "Nook Laloosh" Burnett, have a 5.15 era and still have a .500 record....or you could be like H. Kuroda with a 3.07 era with solid peripherals and be 13-16 because the Dodgers scored about 2 runs a game for him....there will be several instances like this in baseball every year.....and I'll take Kuroda over Burnett 6 days a week and twice on Sundays. And how about a guy like Alfredo Aceves, who is a nice middle relief pitcher and went 10-2 for the Sox last year and 10-1 for the Yankees two years ago. That being said, are you telling me that you would rather have Alfredo Aceves then either King Felix or Lincecum.....I think not. Wins are definitely overrated and are often a case of circumstance.



Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:18 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Looking at some of idiotic posts choosing Lincecum over Hernandez by virtue of having a ring. C'mon!! Hernandez hasn't had the pieces around him to get into the post season. Getting to the post season requires more pieces than just an ace at the top of your rotation. If he had been to the post season and performed poorly, then I would side with such an argument.



Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:11 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

wins are an overrated statistic? try telling that to Jack Morris. Morris had inflated eras because when in the lead, especially a decent lead, he threw strikes trusting his defense would get the job done. This often meant he would give up runs in the process. I am aware that Lincecum and Hernandez had very weak offenses around them, but I am merely saying that one cannot discount the significance of a pitchers' win-loss record. It proves their worth in getting the job done, regardless of the circumstances.



Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:11 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Thanks for the insight genius, but Timmy's got my vote. Why you may ask? Because he separates the chumps( you and all other Seattle sports fans) with the champs (Giants and 9ers x5). We do it SF/ sucker free. Peace out Einstein , gotta get my bags packed for The city, big game at the stick on sunday. Get there!!



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:47 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Felix will have a career like Nolan Ryan. He's naturally big. Lincicum will age more like Pedro Martinez. His velocity has already dropped most of the time. Sure, Lincecum can amp it up on commant, but he can't sustain it over the course of a season. 



Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:24 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

I would take Felix, only because I think Timmy's arm has taken alot more abuse over the years.



Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:11 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

i'll take timmy,he;s proven he can pitch in postseason.


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