San Francisco, CA. Tim Lincecum may be looking at the end of his career at the young age of 28. Gone are the days of pitchers like Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens pitching late into their thirties and into their forties. Pitchers just burn out earlier in their careers now due to the pressure to win, and expectations of young players to make it to the Majors before they are ready. Lincecum hit his prime in 2008, winning his first of two Cy Young awards following up with a repeat in 2009, becoming the first player in Major League history to win the Cy Young award in their first two full seasons. In 2010, Lincecum pitched game 5 of the World Series and helped secure a championship for the San Francisco Giants.
2012 came around and Tim Lincecum was signed to a two-year, $40.5 million contract, making him a free agent after the 2013 season, as the pressure of the big contract seems to have gotten to him. In 26 starts this year Lincecum is 7-13 with a 5.30 ERA vs a career ERA of 3.27. So far in 2012, Lincecum has 151 strikeouts but has also given up 150 hits and 15 home runs. It seems as though Lincecum has fallen victim to a dead arm and lack of confidence.
Major League Baseball has changed since the days of the ace pitcher working his career for 15 plus years. Ace’s now peak in their mid twenties and falter much faster than in the past. Kerry Wood and Ubaldo Jimenez are key examples of pitchers hitting their peak early in life and losing that special talent quickly. Tim Lincecum should take the money and run after 2013 and enjoy the riches he earned with the Giants. Go start an organic fruit farm in Sacramento and play the guitar into the sunset, Tim.
Denver Sports Chat – Kris Loco