Nerd of Batman, sports, logic, objectivity, Star Trek, personal enlightenment, Lincoln, the Rays, psychology, mic dropping. Kind've in that order.
Here are some elementary numbers/stats (don't be scared) of a fundamental that is regularly discussed any MLB broadcast - that is, the importance pitching ahead in the count. If you want the summary, it goes like this: the pitchers who pitch mostly ahead in counts are very successful and those who don't, are often the poorer hurlers in the game. Still, enjoy the read.
Tim Lincecum hasn't been what he once was for sometime now, right? Ugly 4.55 ERA this year with a 7-13 record. Those are the basics of basics though. I can feel Brian Kenny already pecking out a pithy tweet at me for mentioning his W-L record.
Let's briefly go deeper.
Even with the glossier numbers I'm about to give share with you, I'll concede Lincecum's days as a top flight starting pitcher may be finished. But I've got an unusual idea based on one pitcher's success this year, and Lincecum's freakish durability - you've heard he doesn't ice, right?
Lincecum's xFIP is a very accomplished 3.39, with really only Cy Young contenders ahead of him. And at 9.38 his K/9 are the second highest of any starting pitcher free agent-to-be (AJ Burnett is first).
++ FIP defined ++
Now I wouldn't be eager to match his current salary to do this, but Lincecum doesn't seem to be the selfish type, nor is $cott Bora$ his agent. Would it be possible to negotiate a deal with Lincecum to be a jack-of-all-trades pitcher, one that's even more flexible than the resurrected role of fireman that Drew Smyly has played for the Tigers this year.
You know one of my pitching tenets is to run a bullpen on the young and the cheap - Lincecum is, duh, neither - but if you've got faith the Lincecum can continue his career long run of exquisite health, I'd be interested in Lincecum as the remarkably unique player who can start, middle relieve, setup and even close.
It's unconventional and hasn't been attempted in maybe decades, but Lincecum's mutant like durability - as he crosses over 1400 innings pitched - perhaps endless healthy fungibility is what you're paying for in free agency moreso than hoping he regains his Cy Young stuff of years gone by.
Just a thought.
Amid deciphering just how much money the Astros are or aren't making this year, it seems their tear-it-down-then-build-it-back-up stratagem is successful in every detail. SIX of Houston's minor league affiliates could make their respective postseasons. It's an elemental way of gauging their plan's success, but there may be no clearer way - besides eventual MLB record - than judging success, so now I can buy it.
A player needlessly dove at Jadeveon Clowney's knees last night. He needs to retire from college football ASAP.