Tim Lincecum was roughed up for the second start in a row last night, and now sits at 4.1 fWAR on the season (in 29 starts). By all means, that’s a great mark — but among Giants starters, that ranks him third, behind Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain. It’s looking like — for the first time since 2007 — Lincecum will not lead Giants pitchers in fWAR.
In large part, this is due to an uptick in walks. With a month left to go, he’s already walked more hitters than he did last season; his BB% is at 9.8%, which is sixth-worst in the majors. That’s approaching A.J. Burnett territory. Overall, Lincecum’s shown a steady decline over the last few years, as illustrated by his year-by-year K/BB ratio:
His FIP, 3.15, is identical to the mark he posted last season, but given that scoring is down league-wide, his FIP- (which adjusts for park/league factors, and is scaled such that 100 represents league average) is 81. Again, by all means a very fine mark — it puts him in the top 20 in all of baseball — but it’s also the worst FIP- he’s ever posted. It’s even worse than his rookie season.
Lincecum’s arbitration-eligible for the second-to-last time this offseason, and the Giants are most likely looking to sign him to an extension. Timmy’s still an elite pitcher, obviously, and has had another great season, but as Zack noted in last night’s recap, the decline is definitely something to be aware of.