- There's No Room in the Rotation.
Who do you take out? Not Barry Zito and not Matt Cain, obviously. Noah Lowry? Not with him rebounding. Matt Morris? The crafty vet has looked great this season, and mentors the young guys like Cain. Russ Ortiz? That 4.50 ERA is inflated thanks to that Pittsburgh start, when he probably shouldn't have been left in so long. Take away that three-run homer he surrendered, and his ERA is 3.46. This isn't exactly an area of need. They have the best rotation ERA in the majors.
- The Bullpen Needs Help, But Not His Help.
For all the mistakes the bullpen have made, where would Lincecum fit in? Like Armando Benitez or not, he hasn't been the problem. The problems have been the middle relief guys like Jack Taschner, Kevin Correia, and Jonathan Sanchez. And Tim Lincecum isn't going to middle relief.
- Don't Mess With the Top Prospect in the System.
Maybe it's tempting to move Lincecum to relief without a spot in the rotation, but it shouldn't be done. You never know what will happen when you change things for someone, especially a player's role.
- It's Just Five Games.
Sure, it's been a great month, but it has just been five starts, and just 31 innings. That is what most stat geeks will tell you -- even in the most extraordinary of stats -- is a small sample size that is unlikely to continue.
- It Might Be Fun to See How Big the Sample Size Gets.
C'mon, let the kid have his fun. Sure, it's like watching a cat play with its food, but a lot of us baseball fans are sadistic, aren't we?
- Jonathan Papelbon.
A year ago, the Red Sox were so desperate to have a closer, they moved one of their top pitching prospects to that role, promising to move him back this year. So much for that.
- Ace Starters are More Valuable than Closers.
Granted, these are people, not machines. That said, the team should always do whatever gets the best value out of their players, especially a top prospect. A top starter is much better than a closer for this team.
- Don't Underestimate the Jimmy-Jack.
For those who don't remember the term "Jimmy-Jack," it was coined by fans to illuminate how Brian Sabean and Felipe Alou quickly changed roles for players, especially pitchers. Ever since the pros, Lincecum has barely had time to stay with any team. Maybe he won't be stable until he can't go any higher, but let him develop some connection with a team. It might make him want to stay in San Francisco long-term.
- Cain. Zito. Lincecum.
Add in Noah Lowry to this mix, potentially, and suddenly you have a young rotation that feels a lot like the Atlanta Braves of the 1990's. Again, it's a rotation, not the bullpen. The spot for Lincecum will open up eventually. There's always a possibility to make a trade, such as in July.
- Don't Mess With the Top Prospect in the League.
That's what it all comes down to. He's on a roll. Don't change his role.
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