Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lincecum off the playoff roster?

Steve Berman of CSNBay Area speculates that the Giants -- who are leading the NL Wild Card race by 5 games -- will leave Tim Lincecum off the 25-man postseason roster. 

The story was posted before the Giants won 5-0 over the Dbacks on 2 hits. Tim warmed up in the second inning but did not get into the game. Here's most of the Berman story --

Lincecum has looked shaky in his new role. He gave up three runs (two earned) at the end of a 15-5 win over Milwaukee. He pitched a clean ninth inning in the Giants' 8-2 victory on Saturday in Detroit, but nearly gave up an opposite-field home run to Nick Castellanos in the process.
Enter Hunter Strickland. He has three relief appearances in September compared to just one for Lincecum, and his numbers are impressive – both on the radar gun and in the boxscore (three innings, no runs, three strikeouts).
"We've got to keep (Strickland) sharp. We can't keep them all sharp, but he's one of those guys that I, Rags, Gardy, we all feel comfortable with him in a setup type role," Bochy said.
Bochy isn't just comfortable using Strickland in higher leverage situations than Lincecum, that's exactly what he's done since the day he was called up. His first big league outing was in the eighth inning at Coors Field, in a game where the Giants were only down by two runs.
With only 18 games left and a five-game lead over the third place team in the wild card race, Bochy certainly has put some thought into who'd make the postseason roster. Lincecum thrived as a "super sub" type reliever in 2012, but the current roles don't lie. One of the five current starters – Petit, in all probability -- would be the long reliever, and clearly Bochy trusts Strickland more than Lincecum in the later innings right now.
Things could change, but Lincecum has only pitched twice in the last 15 games. The Giants are known for being loyal to their veterans with track records, but Bochy has left a struggling former Cy Young winner off his postseason roster before. Just ask Barry Zito.

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