Exploring the Arsenal – Tim Lincecum

Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of view. For a general guide to pitch types for a right-handed pitcher, please check out this image created by Sons of Sam Horn. Graphs are courtesy of Brooks Baseball and The Hardball Times , unless otherwise specified.

Pitch Types  
FA: Four-Seam Fastball FT: Two-Seam Fastball FC: Cutter
CU: Curveball SL: Slider CH: Changeup
FS: Splitter SI: Sinker


Sunday, 1:35 PM – Tim Lincecum

Lincecum sports a violent delivery that is chock full of torque (see video clip below). His velocity is not close to what it once was. In 2007-2008, he sat comfortably at 93-96 MPH and could ramp it up into the upper 90’s. That velocity has slowly decreased over the past several years. In 2012, he has mostly been around 89-92 MPH, topping out at 93-94. That being said, this year Lincecum is missing bats with the heater about as frequently as he has at any point in his career. He goes to his 82-84 MPH changeup often, and does not hesitate to throw the off-speed pitch to right-handed batters. The change has a ton of sinking movement and is very difficult for hitters to pick up because of Lincecum’s excellent arm action. He got away from the pitch a bit last year, but is back to throwing it about 20% of the time this season. The changeup has maintained its typically elite whiff rate in 2012, right around 42%. His 83-85 MPH slider has also been deadly this year, missing bats at a 46% clip. Lincecum’s repertoire is rounded out with a solid-average 77-79 MPH curveball.

Lincecum has endured quite a bit of difficulty this year, but this is still a very good pitcher. He still misses bats as well as any pitcher in baseball, and has a top ten strikeout rate in the National League. He appears to be having legitimate command issues this year, but this is not a guy who should have a 6.08 ERA.

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