Tim Lincecum Retired is one headline that people have been waiting to see for a while. The former Giants’ pitcher has not pitched in a Major League game since 2016, after signing a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. While he has not thrown a pitch in four seasons, he still has not officially announced his retirement. Yet, he shows no signs of pitching again anytime soon. So, Lincecum remains somewhat of a mystery man.
Tim Lincecum Retired: The Early Years
Lincecum has had an interesting career, to say the least. He has spent all but one season with the Giants and put up some solid numbers. His successes came early on, as he put together an outstanding run from 2008 through 2011. In that four-year span, Lincecum put together Hall of Fame numbers. He had a record of 62-36 and led the National League in strikeouts for three consecutive years. He won back-to-back Cy Young award in 2008 and 2009 and was a four-time All-Star. Lincecum also pitched over 200 innings in each of those seasons. He also threw two no-hitters, one in 2013, the other in 2014. At the age of 27, he had accomplished enough to make him one of the elite pitchers in the game.
Tim Lincecum Retired: The Fall
Lincecum was seemingly on top of the baseball world heading into the 2012 season. Something was not right, though, and that became evident as the 2012 season went forward. While Lincecum’s strikeout rate was consistent with the glory years of 2008-11, but he struggled much of the season. His ERA ballooned to 5.18, easily the highest of his Giants career. Lincecum led the National League in both losses and earned runs allowed. In the postseason, he only started one game, with the rest of his appearances coming out of the bullpen. Quite a fall from being the ace of the staff during the Giants’ 2010 run to a World Series title.
Tim Lincecum Retired: Just Another Pitcher
After the 2012 season, Lincecum performed like an average pitcher, at best. From 2013 through 2015, his ERA was a pedestrian 4.46, and his strikeouts/9 innings dropped to new career lows each season. Lincecum made a brief appearance in the 2014 postseason, in Game two of the World Series. However, he left after facing only five batters, complaining of lower back tightness. He became a spectator as the Giants won their third World Series in five years. The injuries had deprived him of the opportunity to complete the season. On July 20, 2015, it was announced that Lincecum had been diagnosed with a degenerative condition in both hips and his season came to an end.
Tim Lincecum Retired: The Comeback
Lincecum was determined to continue his career after the 2015 season. Without a contract, he decided to hold a workout for any interested teams. In May of 2016, 20 teams sent scouts to watch as Lincecum put on his showcase. He threw the ball well enough to draw serious consideration from several teams. Ultimately, Lincecum signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He went 2-6 in nine starts, posting an ERA of 9.16. he hasn’t seen a Major League mound since 2016. The question has to be asked: Is Tim Lincecum retired?
Tim Lincecum Retired: The Final Chapter?
Lincecum held another workout for scouts in February 2018. Similar to the workout of 2016, he threw well, demonstrating solid velocity. He threw well enough to earn a one-year $1,000,000 contract with the Rangers. However, Lincecum never threw a pitch for the Rangers. On June 4, 2018, the Rangers released Lincecum, citing the belief that he was not an upgrade over the current Rangers’ bullpen. Once again, the career of Tim Lincecum hit a roadblock.
Tim Lincecum Retired: End Of The Road?
There have been no discussions about the return of Tim Lincecum to the Major Leagues since his ill-fated comeback with the Rangers. The question of his retirement is still a mystery, one that only he can answer. He did make an appearance in San Francisco in 2020, though. Lincecum came back to the Bay Area to celebrate Bruce Bochy’s final game as Giants’ manager. It was fitting that Lincecum was there, as he and Bochy were partners on teams that won three World Series in five years. His appearance pleased the Giant faithful as well, seeing their former ace return after a not-so-fond farewell. In fact, the only thing that was not discussed was the burning question: Has Tim Lincecum retired?
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