Earlier this week it was reported that Tim Lincecum would be holding a pitching showcase in Scottsdale, AZ on Friday. The two-time Cy Young Award winner, who is attempting to come back from arthroscopic hip surgery which he had last year, should draw a pretty big crowd when he takes the mound. As would be expected from someone with his resume, it has been reported that as many as 20 different teams will have scouts in attendance, including the Dodgers.
To many of the Dodgers faithful this may seem like blasphemy. Lincecum has played for one team his entire career and that team just so happens to be their most hated rivals. In fact, Lincecum is one of the few Giants players that have consistently been there to torment the Dodgers, playing with San Francisco since 2007. The idea of signing Lincecum also brings up memories of the last time the Dodgers signed a former Giants pitcher with injury problems, Jason Schmidt, and we all know how that worked out.
However, when you really think about it, signing Lincecum might actually make some sense for the Dodgers. First and most obviously, the Dodgers have shown no hesitation in signing veteran pitchers coming off of injuries. In fact, some would even say that the Dodgers have made a habit out of it. You only have to go back as far as last season to compile a pretty good-sized list of such players with Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir, and Brandon Beachy. If this is truly what the Dodgers are doing, it only makes sense that Lincecum would be on their list given that he probably has the best resume of the bunch and until last year had little to no injury problems at all.
Secondly, even though Lincecum has voiced a preference to come back as a starting pitcher, he has also shown the ability to come out of the bullpen and deliver shutdown innings. In fact, Lincecum was a crucial factor in the Giants winning the World Series in 2012 and 2014 by doing just that. With both the Dodgers starting rotation and bullpen in desperate need of an upgrade, it only makes sense to bring in a pitcher who has experience in both. Ross Stripling has done a great job filling in as the fifth starter, but someone like Lincecum could really round out the rotation nicely and Stripling could move to the bullpen to gain the experience he needs to develop. If it doesn’t work out for Lincecum in the rotation or if Ryu, Anderson, and McCarthy all make it back healthy, it would be a smooth transition moving Lincecum into the pen as well.
Speaking of the World Series, if Lincecum were to join the Dodgers he would jump right to the top of the list in terms of postseason experience. In fact, Lincecum has pitched more innings in the postseason than any Dodgers pitcher except Clayton Kershaw. If you take Kershaw out of the equation, Lincecum has more postseason innings under his belt than the entire rest of the Dodgers rotation combined. Not only that, Lincecum boasts a postseason ERA of 2.40, nearly half of Kershaw’s 4.59 postseason ERA. Oh, and don’t forget Lincecum also brings 3 World Series rings with him too.
It may be a tough pill to swallow for most of Dodgers nation but Tim Lincecum might be just the player the Dodgers need to get themselves to not only their fourth straight postseason appearance, but also to get themselves over the postseason hump that they just cannot seem to get over. At the very least it would make Giants fans angry seeing him in Dodger blue and that alone might be worth it for me.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) May 3, 2016