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Mailbag: Does Lincecum = Salazar? (Answer: No.)

April 28, 2014

Hi CL,

Nice job picking up Danny Salazar. By the same logic, Coach is a moron and I should use my waiver pick on Lincecum, right?

Not Frodo

Dear Hobbit from Another Mother,

Sadly, no. It’s been five years since Tim Lincecum won a Cy. More recently:

2012: 33 Starts, 5.18 ERA, 1.46 WHIP

2013: 32 Starts, 4.37 ERA, 1.32 WHIP

2014: 5 Starts, 5.96 ERA, 1.63 WHIP

Well, 2013’s the best of the set. Let’s say you pick up Lincecum and that’s what he gives you the rest of the way. You can’t use those stats. Take a look at the pitching numbers put up in our league so far this year and where ol’ Timmy fits in:

ERA: Best: 2.89; Median: 3.42; 13th: 4.15; Lincecum’13 4.37; 14th: 5.09

WHIP: Best: 1.11; Median: 1.225; 11th = Lincecum’13 1.32; 14th: 1.42  

And of course that’s assuming he returns to his better year. If 2012 is what he is, or 2014 is the new normal, well, he’s unrosterable.

So is he totally unrosterable at 2013 “upside”? Maybe not, but you have to ask yourself if you have an open spot for a spot-starter with limited potential. You can use him in good match-ups at home, but not in bad ones, and you can use him in San Diego. You don’t want to use him away to the AL (DH), in LA (good opposition), in Colorado or Arizona (hitters’ parks), or in most of the NL Central and Philly and Washington (hitters’ parks again). So the sensible play is two starts a month. While those starts might beat the 2013 averages (let’s say ERA 4.00, WHIP 1.25), those numbers aren’t that great to start with and of course there will be variance.

Does that float your boat? If so, that’s kind of sad, but if it does, pick him up. Just don’t use your waiver priority on him–he’s going to pass through waivers and you’ll get him for free. He’s already been dropped twice this year. You can pick him up on the wire, tear your hair out for three weeks, then drop him yourself.

Cheers,

CL

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