What the heck is going on with that son of a Bob Cratchit? Trench Foot Timmy has been pitching like Mitch Kramer... if Mitch Kramer had rickets. Today is the trade deadline in my H2H dynasty league and instead of whooping dat ass with the Soul Pole, I packaged Lincecum and Strasburg in a deal for Jon Lester. Make the jump to see my opinions on Lincecum's troubles, future prospects and why I made the deal.
The Fastball isn't as fast as it used to be. Timmy's average Fastball (91.2 mph) is clocking in a full mph slower than last year and the difference between his 2008 Fastball and this years is nearly three mph. The pitch doesn't have the same movement as it once had either. His Slider and Curve are negatively valued for the first time in his career and although the Change-up is good (13.2 runs above average), it doesn't compare to the same pitch from 2009 (35.2 runs above average). The difference in speed between his Fastball and Change-up is now 7.5 mph. Most people look for a 10 mph difference.
The control is waning. Timmy's 3.59 BB/9 isn't completely awful, but it's the worst it has been since his rookie season in 2007. His 46.9% Zone Percentage is the first time he's dipped below 50% and his 54.5% First Strike Percentage is the worst it's ever been. Timmy is losing control of his pitches.
They're hitting him harder. When the fastball isn't as fast, the difference in mph between the Fastball and Change-up is shrinking and he isn't getting as much movement on his pitches, is it really a surprise that he is being hit harder by opposing batters? The HR/FB% is up, his .329 BABIP is the highest it's ever been and the 20.6% Line Drive Percentage is close to his career high (20.8%). His Batting Average Against is easily a career high (.252), besting worsting his .226 mark from 2007.
He's a mess and I'm not talking about that 17-year-old emo look he has going on. He says he's trying to correct too many things at once, he tried mixing it up by wearing orange striped stirrups and he started playing long toss between starts with Barry Zito. He's taken a Loss in five straight contests and has allowed four or more Earned Runs in the past four appearances. We haven't seen a vintage Timmy start since the middle of July.
So what can we expect in 2011? I have an idea and it isn't pretty. The velocity on his Fastball is trending downward. It is an obvious trend. In seven years his Fastball and Change-up will be the same pitch. OK, maybe that is going overboard, but you can't ignore the facts. There doesn't seem to be any signs of hope in the control department either. He is still striking out batters at an excellent rate (9.44 K/9), but that is down from 10.51 K/9 in 2008 and 10.42 K/9 in 2009. I expect something along the lines of a 9.00 K/9 with a 1.29 WHIP and a 3.85 ERA. Lincecum is going to be a tough projection for everyone next season and the opinions will be varied. I have no problem saying Lincecum's days of being a "male dominant monkey motherfucker" are over. I don't have much hope for him, which is why I wasn't afraid to deal him and Strasburg for Lester.
The trade heard 'round the league. My dynasty team is awesome. My dynasty team is young. And my dynasty team was loaded with players on the Disabled List. Justin Morneau, Carlos Santana, Grady Sizemore, Nelson Cruz and Stephen Strasburg were holding me down and I wanted to shed the dead weight as the trade deadline approached and we entered the playoffs. Because my team is so good and so young, I was not afraid to sacrifice talent for the good of a playoff run. I will not lose and I do not trust Lincecum going down the stretch. Plus, I don't want to have a player who is expected to sit out the entire 2011 season. Strasburg is expected to be out 12-18 months after Tommy John Surgery Stephen Strasburg Surgery. F that noise. I love me some Jon Lester and I love my chances of back-to-back championships.
What Timmy really needs is a good woman, like Martha Washington. "Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man."