Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
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?



For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Comments

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:56 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

 Even though I am SF Giants fan, Lincecum still is impressive without 'run support".
Dude, the Mariners offense makes the Giants look like the 1924 Yankees.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:55 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

I'm a Mariners fan, so I can't be completely certain that I'm unbiased.  But I'm trying to be.

Both are great pitchers and Lincecum has been on better teams.  Lincecum has also pitched very well in the playoffs, and that's an unknown for Hernandez.  Lincecum has had the better career of two great pitchers.

But if I can only take one pitcher, I take Hernandez.  Yes, I take him for his youth.  But also take him because of Lincecum's loss of velocity and because of Hernandez's horse-like build.  When you're nit-picking between two greats, I'd go with the guy who I think has the brighter future, as long as he also has a track record of elite performance.



Since: Jul 26, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:51 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Lincecum is the guy you want.  Timmy's stuff looks to be more effective and I have to point out, he is pitching in the National League.  How many times with a game on the line do you think Hernandez would have stayed in the game playing National League Baseball?  Even though I am SF Giants fan, Lincecum still is impressive without 'run support".  If the Giants don't get some bats, they are going uphill to the NLCS.  Not sure Seattle will ever get back to the days of Randy Johnson but for Seattle Fans, I hope they do.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:46 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

I'll take the world series winner, Timmy. He ball! Felix, whatever. Does he have a ring? Didn't think so.
Sometimes I think "people aren't as dumb as you think they are".  Then I see a post like this and realize I was completely wrong about that.

Among the big 3 sports in the U.S., baseball is by far the easiest and best example of how a championship doesn't factor into a player's greatness.  Mediocre players win championships and great players never do.  It's assinine to blame Hernandez for his teams sucking.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:21 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

If I wanted to win right now?  I think I have to lean towards Lincecum due to his consistentcy.

If I wanted to plan for the future?  I go with Hernandez.

While I like Hernandez to win right now as well, I just like Lincecum more because he is in the prime age for pitchers and I think the next couple of seasons will be argubly his best.

If I want to build for a longer run, I have to go with Hernandez because I think Lincecum in a few years will start to deal with injuries because of his pitching stye and his overall frame and build.  It's not a knock on Lincecum's ability, but smaller pitchers in the past more often then not hit a wall at 30 and break down faster than guys that are larger like Hernandez.  Of course, there are always exceptions but I'm not willing to bank on that. 



Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:10 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

I would take Price based on the the offenses he faces but the post season is where it matters and woyuld rather take Lincecum, especially as he can bat as well.



Since: Jan 26, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:54 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

I love Lincecum watched the kid in his last tuneup in "AAA" Fresno Grizzley's park in Fresno California. I didn't get a chance to see Hernandez live but I'd go with him. Great pitchers park now is they'd only score runs for him he'd win 18+ games a year. Yes he's younger and I play a lot of fantasy on line I go with Hernandez but if he's gone I'll take Lincecum in a heartbeart! 




Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:51 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

I'll take the world series winner, Timmy. He ball! Felix, whatever. Does he have a ring? Didn't think so.



Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:01 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

I'd take Lincecum.  He puts up solid outings even when his best stuff isn't on display, he's the definition of durability, to this date, I don't even think he knows what a sore arm is and it's because of his incredible technique.  His body completely carries his arm instead of most of the big guys who just step and chuck it.  Time for Timmy to get filthy rich



Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: January 20, 2012 5:54 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

by the way, anyone have any REAL scoop on what knocked 8 mph off Timmy's fastball?  i know we can all speculate on it (he notched it down, wear-and-tear, etc.), but does anyone have any real info on why?  i've searched around a bit and all i've been able to find is speculation and Timmy's own confusion as to why...


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com