Friday, July 07, 2006

Where's Lincecum?

Kent at my fantasy league asked where Lincecum is and that's a good question. The Giants said that he would be joining Salem-Keizer shortly but he isn't even on their official roster on their website yet and with such a high profile local product addition, you would think they would advertise the heck out of it when it does happen.

Given all the pitches he has thrown over the past two years, though, it doesn't surprise me that the Giants don't want to rush anything with him. His Pitcher Abuse Points was in the hundreds of THOUSANDS the past two seasons! They rightfully should be very cautious with him. And they said that they would, by having him only throw 3 inning starts to start out.

However, he claims that his arm does not hurt and can start throwing immediately the day following a start, so I assume the Giants are probably also having doctors prod and examine him closely to see what condition he is in plus give him some additional rest for his arm. Though I assume that he is still continuing his normal conditioning of his arm by throwing a lot.

I think this is different from, say, Foppert who said his arm didn't hurt but pitched poorly until his arm hurt a lot. Lincecum has pitched well despite the abuse on his arm and his father has apparently built up his arm and mechanics such that there is relatively less stress on his arm when pitching. If there wasn't this documented history of his dad teaching him and of him having this reputation of throwing so often, I would be worried a lot about whether we got damaged goods, like other pitchers who threw a lot in college.

As Mariner Dave said, you don't want to bet against history, which you would be doing by picking Lincecum, but I view that as a general rule with exceptions. He's right that you are playing with fire by taking the risk by picking Lincecum, but a lot of Top Picks lists had him at the top and to get a player like that at 10th, you have to pounce on him, much like the Angels' pounced on Jered Weaver and the D-backs pounced on Stephen Drew with mid-teen picks. He also said that mainly in reference to Seattle's #5 pick, where you need to get someone who is more of a sure thing (though he seemed to imply it in a general term) because historically you should be able to find good to great talent at the #5 spot.

But by the 10th pick, my research has shown that the "sure" talent has already been weeded out already and the odds are already much against you picking a good player, let alone a star player. So why not take the risk of getting a pitcher with a blowned out arm given the caveats I wrote above about his known history that suggest that he is the exception.

The odds are already largely against picking a great player at the 10th pick. Lincecum seems to be a good and potentially great player, one of the few Golden Spike winners ever. The risk with him, relatively, is not that he won't be good but that he might have arm problems. A lot of people like his talent and pitches, the main fear is whether his arm will fall off. I would rather risk to get a good to great player at #10, than to get the prototypical draft "failure" (i.e. someone who is not at least useful) you get after the 5th pick overall. Even if he "fails", I think the Giants took a prudent risk which have a huge potential reward if everything works out. It is all about the process.

2 comments:

  1. We're on the same page about Lil' Lincecum. I absolutely think that he was the correct move. Yes, I understand the crapshoot of drafts and picks, but when he falls to your team, your team better take him. Some friends of the family are huge Giants fans and they seem to be under the impression that he's in Phoenix being, as you wrote, "prodded." They're supposed to notify me when he shows up and pitches. Hopefully, I'll be able to make the game and get some pitchers. If so, I'll send 'em your way. Have a nice weekend.

    Kent

    ReplyDelete
  2. I heard he was spotted smoking crack with Len Bias.

    ReplyDelete

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