Tag:Tim Lincecum
Posted on: October 27, 2010 7:22 pm

Lincecum was two picks from being Ranger

Tim Lincecum
When University of Washington pitcher Tim Lincecum entered the 2006 draft, most teams weren't sure what to make of him. His small frame, bizarre mechanics and unconventional training methods -- he never iced his arm and threw a huge number of pitches -- scared off a lot of teams (including his hometown Mariners, who had the No. 5 pick) who figured his physical breakdown was inevitable.

The Rangers, with new general manager Jon Daniels, had no such misgivings. They wanted him. But they were picking 12th, and they waited nervously to see whether he'd be available.

"We had done pretty good research and our folks had a pretty good handle on how the picks in front of us would fall," Daniels told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "There was only one question. San Francisco at 10. The Giants did a really good job of not playing their hand.

"On draft day, we had already pulled Lincecum's name and were ready to call it. When the Giants drafted, his draft number started with an 'R' for 'Redraft' and then there was zero and three more digits. Then the Giants started to call the number and there was no zero and I thought we got him. Then they called the name. I remember asking our guys if we could have the pick nullified for not calling the zero. Apparently, you didn't need to call the zero in the draft number."

The Rangers ended up selecting high school pitcher Kasey Kiker, who struggled at Double-A this season.

But most of Daniels' moves have worked out. Check out Grant's interesting breakdown of exactly how he built this team from "strategic teardown" mode to pennant winner despite havong one of the smallest payrolls in the game. If there's one postseason award that's a dead solid lock, it's Daniels as executive of the year.
-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 25, 2010 8:20 pm

Cain to start Game 2

Matt Cain Reporters have met with Bruce Bochy in San Francisco and the Giants manager says he'll once again switch up his Game 2 and 3 starters.

Matt Cain (pictured) will start Game 2, followed by Jonathan Sanchez -- the opposite of their starts in the NLCS. Madison Bumgarner will pitch Game 4, he said.

So, the rotation will be Tim Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and Bumgarner.

"Matt hasn't thrown in a while," Bochy said (via the San Jose Mercury News ' Andrew Baggarly on Twitter ). "He's ready and Johnny just threw. We're excited wherever we put these guys."

Also, Baggerly reports center fielder Andres Torres was planning on doing some light running to test his hip flexor.

"I think it's going to be all right," Torres said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 25, 2010 8:06 pm

Umpires set for Series

Gary Darling So, while betting on the World Series, why not take odds on which umpire is going to become a household name this Fall Classic with a blown call?

The Associated Press reports Sam Holbrook, Bill Miller, John Hirschbeck, Gary Darling, Mike Winters and Jeff Kellogg are the umpiring crew for the World Series.

Holbrook and Miller are umpiring in the World Series for the first time, but my (imaginary) money's on Darling (pictured).

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has been had two run-ins with Darling. In 2008, Darling called a balk against Tim Lincecum to bring home the go-ahead run in a game against the Rockies just as Bengie Molina called timeout. Darling seemed to raise his hands to call the timeout, but then called the balk. Bochy was ejected after arguing.

Last season, Darling ejected Bochy in the second inning of a game against the Dodgers and then ejected bench coach Ron Wotus in the ninth inning of the same game.

This season, Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton was suspended and fined after arguing a call botched by Darling. Darling admitted after the game that he missed the call.

Hirschbeck was behind the plate for Roy Halladay's no-hitter, and was criticized by the Reds' Orlando Cabrera for his strike zone.

Winters is best known as the umpire that Milton Bradley was arguing with when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2007.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 22, 2010 2:22 pm

Taking a look at 2011 projections

Bill James, the leading sabermetrician of our time, has been hard at work on his 2011 Bill James Handbook , in which he releases projections for players.

As with all projections, James was way off on several players in his 2010 projections, but hit some on the nose and came close to many.

As James writes, it's inevitable that projections miss on some players. After all, who could have expected Jose Bautista to slam 54 home runs?

But for the most part, projections do come close to approximating what a player will do. So let's dive in and check out what Bill James thinks of several players.

Alvarez Pedro Alvarez (photo, right): The Pirates rookie got his major-league career off to a decent start in 2010, finishing at .256/.326/.461 with 16 HR. Meanwhile, Buster Posey makes Pittsburgh look silly for plucking Alvarez and Tampa Bay idiots for taking shortstop Tim Beckham. However, the Bucs may just end up loving Alvarez in 2011. James has him down for 27 home runs and 103 RBI, hitting .277/.352/.501. Sounds pretty good.

Jose Bautista : So, his his power surge for real or is there a reason Bautista never topped 16 home runs in a season before? James thinks it's for real and tabs Bautista for 34 blasts in 2011. Makes sense, as Bautista was hitting somewhat over his head and pitchers will have a better understanding of how to pitch him. He should finish at .251/.355/.509.

Josh Beckett: Boston will have plenty of reasons to be happy with its rotation next year. After Josh Beckett struggled to a 5.78 ERA in 21 starts, James feels Beckett will rebound to post a 3.86 ERA in 26 games. Couple that with John Lackey 's 33 starts of a 3.89 ERA and Daisuke Matsuzaka finding a way to overcome 73 walks for a 3.85 ERA, and you suddenly have a deep rotation that has Jon Lester up top and Clay Buchholz. An ace followed by four No. 2-3 starters? Yes please.

Adrian Beltre : Beltre re-established his value and much more in Boston, where he put Seattle and his failures therein behind him to hit .321/.365/.553. But was that just a contract-year push? Kind of. Beltre won't sniff being an MVP candidate again, as James says, but should still be worth every dollar afer hitting .283/.335/.477 in 2011.

Ryan Braun : When someone hits 33 home runs, scores 108 runs and drives in 114, that's got to be a pretty good MVP candidate. Except that Braun's 2011 projected totals may not be enough to overtake teammate Prince Fielder , who has 41 blasts projected to his name with 100 runs and 114 RBI. He's expected to hit .276/.396/.541 with Braun at .310/.372/.551.

Domonic Brown : One concern the Phillies have is how well Dominic Brown can step into the large shoes that will be vacated by Jayson Werth. Well, no problem: Brown's on pace to hit 26 homers and go .288/.346/.505. Next step for Philadelphia: finding a right-handed bat to break up Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Brown.

Halladay Roy Halladay (photo, right): A perfect game, postseason no-hitter and 2.44 ERA later and Halladay has nothing left to prove in the NL. James does see a step backwards, however, to the horrifying high of a 3.16 ERA. That ERA certainly figures to go under 3.00, but it's impossible to project anyone landing below a 3.00 ERA which is why Halladay lands at 3.16. He has compatriots Cole Hamels with a 3.45 projected ERA and Roy Oswalt at 3.38. Sounds like another NL East Division title is en route to Philly.

Derek Jeter : So, will Jeter rebound from his .270/.340/.370 showing in 2010 and be worth whatever ridiculous deal the Yankees give him in the offseason? Well, James does see a bounceback -- but his days as a legitimate All-Star are done. (Of course, he'll still be elected.) Jetes should end up at .295/.365/.410 as James guesses, not that far off from what Jeter put up in 2008.

Cliff Lee : Lee is going to make a lot of money in 2011. But interested teams may want to take a look at James' projected ERA and back away slightly. At 3.50, he would still be a good pitcher, but not great nor sublime as he has been thus far. He finished 2010 with a 3.18 ERA, 2009 with 3.22 and 2008 with 2.54, so it takes quite a leap to think Lee would go up to 3.50. A projected 49 walks will do that, even though he had an unimaginable 18 in 2010. (43 in 2009.)

Tim Lincecum : The Freak draws the honor of the lowest projected ERA, at an even 3.00 while striking out 233 batters. Lincecum will be looking to take back the Cy Young title from projected winner Roy Halladay, and so far it looks like Bill James is giving him the nod for 2011.

Jesus Montero : Do we have an early candidate for Rookie of the Year? James has Jesus Montero putting up huge numbers as a 21-year-old in the majors, banging 21 home runs and hitting .285/.348/.519. Hard to beat those numbers and power, especially at Montero's age. The only comparable is Michael Stanton.

David Ortiz : Well, even James himself can't know if Ortiz will get a third straight season off to a bad start, but regardless, Big Papi is expected to finish with 33 home runs and 112 RBI. That would be the most home runs hit since 2007 (he finished 2010 with 32). It would also be a high in RBI since 2007, along with batting average. If Ortiz can pull that line off, he'll be in line for a nice payday as a free agent.

Stanton Mike Stanton (photo, right): Stanton has already put baseball on notice as a 20-year-old. So what the heck is he to do in 2011 with a full season of playing time? That's easy -- 38 home runs. The only knock against Stanton will be that his plate discipline isn't advanced enough, leading to a .268/.335/.556 line. If he can eventually learn to take enough pitches and get the batting average over .280, he could be a mega-star.

Brian Wilson : Currently busy trying to propel the Giants to the World Series, Wilson at least can rest easy in the idea that James has him leading all closers in saves next season. He's expected to nail down 48 saves with a 3.04 ERA. The save total is exactly the same as what he ended up with in 2010, but the ERA was lower at 1.81. An xFIP of 2.99, however, backs up the projected 3.04 ERA.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:31 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:21 am

Another postseason pitching gem

Cliff Lee The year of the pitcher has naturally turned into the postseason of the pitcher -- and now you can add Cliff Lee's ALCS Game 3 gem to this year's postseason pitching performances to remember.

As a whole, Lee's outperformed Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum to this point, and his outing at Yankee Stadium may have been as good as their Game 1 NLDS performances.

There were plenty of words written about Bill James' game score stat after Lincecum's two-hit performance against the Braves outscored Halladay's no-hitter against the Reds. Lee didn't match either in game score, but he could have had the Rangers' offense not exploded for six runs in the ninth.

Lee finished the game with a game score of 90 -- assuming he finished the ninth unscathed, he would have surpassed Halladay's game score of 94 (one point for every out, two more for an inning after the fourth). With one strikeout, he would have tied Lincecum's 96. The way he was pitching and the way the Yankees looked at the plate, that doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

What may have set Lee's outing apart was the team he did it against -- the Yankees. New York's 859 runs were the most in the majors, its .786 OPS was the second-best in the majors and wOBA (weighted on-base average) of .347 was the best in the majors.

The Reds were fourth in runs (790), third in OPS (.774),  wOBA (.339), so they were too far off the Yankees, except that they played in the weaker National League.

I'm not sure I buy Linecum's outing or Lee's outing being superior to Halladay's no-hitter, all three were amazing to watch and starts that should be celebrated and will certainly be remembered. It's like judging a piece of art -- does it matter which painting is better? Just appreciate them all on their own merits and be glad you got to see them.

Here's a look at the three phenomenal starts and three phenomenal starters:

Halladay vs. Reds: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 8 Ks, 1 BB, 28 BF. 104 pitches, 79 strikes. Game score: 94
Halladay's 2010 postseason: 1-1, 2.25 ERA, 16 IP, 15 Ks, 1 BB, 8 H, 4 ER

Lincecum vs. Braves: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 14 Ks, 1 BB, 30 BF. 119 pitches, 75 strikes. Game score: 96
Lincecum's 2010 postseason: 2-0, 1.69 ERA, 16 IP, 22 Ks, 4 BB, 8 H, 3 ER

Lee vs. Yankees: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 13 Ks, 1 BB, 27 BF. 122 pitches, 82 strikes. Game score: 90
Lee's 2010 postseason: 3-0, 0.75 ERA, 24 IP, 34 Ks, 1 BB, 13 H, 2 ER

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: October 14, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:53 am

No surprises in Phillies' rotation

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel announced his NLCS rotation , and as expected, Joe Blanton will start Game 4.

So here are the matchups:

Game 1: Roy Halladay vs. Tim Lincecum
Game 2: Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez
Game 3: Cole Hamels vs. Matt Cain
Game 4: Blanton vs. Madison Bumgarner
Game 5: Halladay vs. Lincecum
Game 6: Oswalt vs. Sanchez
Game 7: Hamels vs. Cain

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: October 14, 2010 10:09 am

Lincecum battling blister on hand

Tim Lincecum If the Giants had been down 2 games to none in the NLDS, it was expected Tim Lincecum would have drawn the start instead of Madison Bumgarner.

However, The Freak may not have been ready to start at all, thanks to a blister that developed during his sterling Game 1, 14-strikeout performance.

"It's not a big deal, and we're taking care of it," Lincecum told the San Jose Mercury News of his recurring problem. Manager Bruce Bochy also confirmed the blister is under control, and Lincecum should be fine to start Game 1 of the NLCS. However, coming back on short rest in Games 4 and 7 is questionable.

"Where he's at [with the blister], sure, all that will come into play," Bochy said of starting the two-time Cy Young winner on short rest. "That helps make your decision, no question."

Meanwhile, both Lincecum and the Giants are focused on the task at hand: taking down Roy Halladay.

"You'll have to take every run like it's golden," Lincecum said. "Just execute and make good pitches, and hopefully we'll come out on top again."

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 14, 2010 1:03 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:11 am

Giants switch up rotation

The Giants have announced they will move Jonathan Sanchez up to pitch in Game 2 of the NLCS, showing confidence in Sanchez and breaking up their left-handed and right-handed starters.

In the first round, right-hander Tim Lincecum was followed by fellow righty Matt Cain, then lefties Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner. This time Sanchez will pitch second, followed by Cain. Bumgarner is the likely Game 4 starter, though that is not official.

Sanchez was outstanding in his NLDS start against Atlanta, allowing one run on two hits through 7 2/3 innings.

-- David Andriesen

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