Tag Archives: era

How Much Are Lincecum Bobbleheads Going For?

photo by: Lenny Ignelzi

Here at TortureCast, we’ve heard some early rumblings about Tim Lincecum’s ineffectiveness in spring training this year, and concerns that he’s lost his zip, or his slot, or that “je ne sais quoi.” I know most of you probably aren’t putting your Lincecum bobbleheads on eBay, but for those of you worried about his potential decline, let the numbers put you at ease.

This is his sixth spring training, and he has never had an ERA below 4.00. His overall career ERA in 89.2 innings of spring training is a whopping 5.02. From 2007 through this year, his ERA: 6.43, 4.50, 4.03, 6.94, 4.37, and 6.75 (of course it’s only 8 IP in 2012 so far). His last outing vs Kansas City was stellar, with 1 hit allowed in 4 IP. The numbers also don’t reveal what he’s doing from a mechanical standpoint. He’s only been using his fastball and changeup so far, and just trying to get his mechanics down. Tenured players like him, especially pitchers, as John Kruk said earlier this week, “are always working on stuff,” much to the chagrin of the position players. Many position players acknowledge that spring training is really for the pitchers and then of course, the players on the bubble.

Lincecum is not on the bobble, er, I mean, bubble, of course. He’s just going through the motions, and he’ll be fine.


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Romo is better than Wilson

I know, blashphemy, right?

I love Brian Wilson. He is an excellent closer. He carried us through 2009 and 2010. But, I believe Sergio Romo is better.

I can’t speak to Romo’s late inning nerves. He only has 3 career saves. Brian Wilson has done that in 3 nights. However, let’s lo0k at the stats:

Looking at the last 4 years for both players, Romo has the statistical edge by far, even by ERA. Let’s look at the contact and control stats: Both players each have 2 best years for strikeouts per nine innings, Wilson with 9.57 and 11.2 in ’08 and ’10, Romo with 10.9 and 13.1 in ’09 and ’11, but Romo with the better average over that span. However, control is lopsided, which was Wilson’s Achilles. Wilson had the following walks per 9 innings from 2008-2011: 4.0, 3.7, 3.1, 5.1. Romo had: 2.1, 2.9, 2.0, 0.9. Romo put less than HALF the runners on base via the walk than Wilson. Granted, we all know how many times Wilson got out of walk-induced jams over the past few years, but that’s playing with fire. The walk percentage is even more telling. Wilson walks about 10% of batters he faces, Romo about half as much. Batting average against? Well, Romo has the edge 3 out of the last 4 years, and a dominant average. WHIP? Same, 3 out of 4, and that doesn’t even consider the dominant 2011 Romo had, while Wilson had his worst year in 2011. Romo dominates every statistical category (aside from saves, of course).

These are two pitchers heading in opposite directions. Even the speed data, which Wilson relies on more than Romo, shows that Wilson is losing his edge. His average fastball speed for the last 4 years is 95.7, 96.5, 95.9, and a career low 94.2 MPH last year. He’s losing his stuff. Granted, he was hurt last year, and probably played through some of it. However, if Chalupa man can’t regain a 95+ MPH fastball in the beginning of the season, I think we know the trend line is confirmed.

I hope it’s not true, but the Giants made shrewd moves signing Romo, Lopez, and Affeldt to multi-year contracts. I think it’s clear that Wilson is not the Giants’ closer for long.


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