by mrCane and notebook guy
mrCane: Why I’ll take: Let me start by saying there is a reason why we draft hitters before pitchers, because they are sure bets. With that being said Tim Lincecum should be the top pitcher taken in this years draft, partly because Johan has some elbow trouble, but mostly because he is the best pitcher available, more so than CC Sabathia. I know what your saying, he’s small, he’ll breakdown….well Pedro was small too. At the age of 24 Pedro’s numbers were 3.70ERA 1.20WHIP 222K 216IP
…..if your paying attention Lincecums were much better at 2.62 ERA 265K 1.17 WHIP 227IP. Now if Lincecum follows in Pedro’s footsteps this upcoming year will be historic because Martinez had a ridiculous ERA of 1.90 at the age of 25!
Why do I compare Lincecum to Pedro? For obvious reason’s, they are built more like chess players instead of baseball players. Both are listed at a very generous 5’11” and neither top 190lbs. Right now Tim Lincecum has a 97mph fastball, and that’s not even his best pitch. He uses one of the most devastating curves in the game to give opposing batters no chance, evident by his 265K. Size is not a problem!
Last year Lincecum had a better ERA, more strike outs, better k/9 ratio and a Quality Start % of 79 compared to CC’s 71%, threw 200 less pitches leaving the only slight ( no pun intended) against Timmy; his frame. Lets not get too crazy and compare him to a future hall of famer but lets no write him off because he doesn’t way 290lbs(not a typo). How can we decline Lincecum the honor of #1 rated pitcher because he’s too small but Sabathia doesn’t get the same ridicule with his over indulgence of nutrients? I’ll take the next best thing as Sabathia crumbles (much like in the playoffs, 7.92 career ERA!) in the New York pressure cooker while Lincecum coasts in the NL West.
notebookguy: Why I take CC: CC Sabathia is now the number 1 pitcher in fantasy baseball due to Johan Santana’s elbow injury. In CC’s 8 seasons, hard to believe considering he won’t be 29 until the end of July, he has averaged 32 starts a year, making 30+ starts every year but one, in which he made 28 starts. Why is this important? Outside of the closer position, starting pitching is the most volatile spot on your fantasy baseball team, and this guy is as sure a thing to be out there every 5th day as they come. It’s not just his reliability that makes him so great, he’s also got the numbers to back it up. A 3 year average of 32 starts, 16 W, 211 K, 3.03 ERA, and a 1.14 WHIP shows that he helps immensely in all 4 starting pitching categories. His track record is impeccable, he’s still in his prime, and he pitches for a very good team in a park that favors lefthanded pitchers. What more do you need?
The argument against Lincecum is simple, no track record. His numbers were the best in the game last year, there is no arguing that, but he jumped 80 innings over his previous career high, never a good sign for a 24 year old in his first major league season. There is no telling how the extensive work load of last season will effect him but looking at pitchers with similar jumps in their workloads from previous seasons is not encouraging. His size is also a concern. He is a little guy with a violent windup, not usually a good combo for longevity. He also has a horrendous offensive team supporting him, Bengie Molina hitting cleanup? I need a little more offensive support than that for my ace.
I’ve heard the comparisons to Pedro Martinez and to me, that’s just foolish. Pedro Martinez is the best pitcher I’ve ever seen in my 20 odd years of watching baseball. He was Sandy Koufax in the STEROIDS era. When guys were hitting 60+ HR’s Pedro had an ERA under 2. He struck out 300 guys a year. Tim Lincecum has had one very good season and his numbers didn’t sniff what Pedro did in his prime. Don’t believe the hype, go safe with your ace, and take the Big Man in the Bronx.