Kahrl: Tim Lincecum adapting to new, slower mix

From SABR member Christina Kahrl at ESPN.com on June 2, 2015:

Time rules all. It does not know mercy, and it does not discriminate. And until recently, it looked as if time had come for Tim Lincecum’s pitching arm, having already collected from it a fastball that sat around 94 mph, leaving the slim righty to sort out what he could do with what he had left. After years of struggling to adjust to his slower assortment, can Lincecum adapt?

“He’s carrying a different cross than a lot of us,” San Francisco Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said. “There are not a lot of guys who have won two Cy Youngs. That in itself sets him apart, but maybe that makes it harder for him to make that adjustment too, thinking, ‘Why am I doing this or changing anything?'”

Having command of 94 mph heat helped The Freak win consecutive Cy Youngs in 2008 and 2009. But during the past three years, Lincecum struggled: In 2012, he finished last in the National League in ERA qualifiers and 38th out of 43 pitchers in 2013. In 2014, he would have been next to last if he’d gotten enough innings; the Giants didn’t let him, moving him to the pen instead. That year, his average fastball velocity slid below 90 mph, narrowing the gap between it and his changeup from more than 10 mph to closer to 6 or 7.

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/58843/tim-lincecum-adjusting-to-new-slower-mix

Originally published: June 3, 2015. Last Updated: June 3, 2015.