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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spring Previews: Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain

Giants' pitchers and catchers reported to Scottsdale Thursday, though the first full-squad workout isn't scheduled until Friday morning, plenty of guys were out on the field working out early. As we've been doing, we'll save a small section at the end for Spring Talk, as we continue on with our spring player preview, now onto the Giants rotation:

Giants Starting Rotation

1) Tim Lincecum, RHP: Timmy got that big deal he wanted this winter, now he and the Giants have two more seasons to feel each other out and see where they stand. If Lincecum keeps on pace with how he's started his career, the 27 year-old will be due for quite possibly the biggest contract ever for a pitcher when he hits free agency at 29. In order for him to attain that though, he's got to be nails over the next two seasons and hope the Giants offense can help him out a bit. Offense aside though, Lincecum had a horrid 6 week stretch in 2010, despite dominating again for the stretch run and playoffs, but wasn't as lights out in 2011 either. His numbers were there, but it seemed like he lost some life on his fastball, which may have been attributed to the huge workload over the previous two seasons. I know Timmy's a freak of nature, and can endure as much as anyone, but you have to assume that sooner or later, all these innings will take it's toll on the 6 foot, 165-pounder! As for 2012, I expect big things from Timmy and think this year he'll set a new career low era and I'm sure he ends up above .500 this time around. Still can't believe he had those numbers last year and wound up 13-14! Same with Cain a few years prior, but Lincecum was throwing near no-hitters on a nightly basis last season and wound up with a sub-.500 record. That is what would make a pitcher want to leave this town and this yard!

2012 Prediction: 34 Starts, 2.17 ERA, 17-11 record, 219 IP, 249 K's, 167 hits, 57 BB's, 1.02 WHIP, BAA .221

2) Matt Cain, RHP: Matty is the one key Giant who can bolt after the season, and if they enter the season without an extension for him, Giants fans will be biting their nails with each passing week that goes by with not Cain extension. If he hits the open market, he'll be extremely tough to keep! As for this year, I expect the same from Cain as I do from Timmy. Another Cain-esque year where he dominates opponents, and if the Giants can get him 3-4 runs, he'll win nearly every time. I hate to even consider it, but if the Giants don't get something done with Cain by, say mid-season, then it may not be the worst idea in the world to try and turn him into a stud outfielder. Now, I'd have very high standards, they'd have to be young but already proven at the ML level, like Cain is, and a name that immediately comes to mind is Jay Bruce. They'd need something of that quality in return if they do trade Cain, otherwise I take the chance on re-signing him or getting the draft pick. Cainer brings his A-game all the time, but this season, he should be extra on top of it, being his walk year, so like with Timmy, I expect Cain to set some career record(s) this season (my guess is wins).

2012 Prediction: 35 starts, 2.81 ERA, 18-10, 230 IP, 202 K's, 180 hits, 72 BB's, 1.09 WHIP, BAA .217

Spring Notes: With players trickling into camp Thursday, some guys have been here for over a week getting work in. Mostly young guys like the Brandon's (Crawford and Belt) as well as Nate Schierholtz and Manny Burris. But even in a day when players arrived, most the news surrounded the pitchers, as the Giants got some "pain-free" news out of Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson. Both pitchers are expected to resume full workouts, though it's not yet determined when Bochy will first use his closer or ace in spring training ballgames. He first said he expected Wilson to be out for the first week of Cactus League play, but Wilson's health has been better than expected. I'd still err on the side of caution if I'm the Giants though, with both players. What's keeping them out an extra spring appearance or two, as long as they get some good work in before April? Anyway, we have just 3 more players (the pitchers) who we'll finish up with next post, then do the bullpen as our final spring preview post before we get back to focusing on just baseball. It should be about that time that full workouts really pickup and we have some good competition going (like at short and in the outfield and even the fifth starters spot)!
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4 Comments:

  • At 1:05 AM, Anonymous essay writers online said…

    The Giants my favorite baseball team. Go go go Giants!!!

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Kevin said…

    Giants pretty solid on pitching... but can they hit?
    http://westsideculture.mlblogs.com/

     
  • At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, I think they're offense is way better than everybody thinks. Cabrera is an all-star, Posey's an all-star and Panda's an all-start. That's 3 all-star hitters in your lineup and a great pitching staff!

     
  • At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Warde Laidman said…

    Matt Cain is the pillar of the Giants.....strong, solid, smart, dependable, consistent AND a nice guy.

     

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