The San Francisco Giants’ pitching ace Tim ‘The Freak’ Lincecum has been suffering from a degenerative hip condition, that has ensured his inactivity since June last year. Since then, Lincecum has undergone hip repair surgery, which was projected to heal entirely after a period of five or six months.
While his recovery period comes to an end, and as baseball season draws nearer, much speculation not only surrounds Lincecum’s future with the Giants, but also within the MLB.
“My door will always be open for Tim Lincecum,” said Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy. “He wants to pitch. He still has fire in his belly.”
Lincecum is undeniably talented. In addition to career statistics like a 3.61 ERA and 1,704 strikeouts, Lincecum has also earned back-to-back National League Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009, alongside four All-Star appearances and three World Series titles. Prior to his injury, Lincecum was one of the Giants’ deadliest weapons.
Now however, Lincecum is a free agent with an uncertain future within the MLB. And while it has yet to be officially determined if Lincecum will be active in the upcoming season, his surgeon Marc Philippon provided more insight on the matter. “I’m very optimistic,” said Philippon. “He has a very strong, stable hip with no impingement.”
As the Giants enter the 2016 season, they’ll be under particularly high amounts of scrutiny. Because it’s an even year, superstition suggests that the Giants will win yet another World Series title to accompany those already won in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
The only difference between those seasons and the approaching one, is that Lincecum was a large contributor to the Giants’ success. And while the Giants have made some decent moves in the offseason – including signing pitcher Johnny Cueto and free-agent pitcher Jeff Samardzija – this could be their first season attempting a World Series title without The Freak.