The Tim Lincecum experiment with the Los Angeles Angels may be over after just nine rough starts in his SoCal career.
The Angels have designated Lincecum for assignment, the team announced Saturday. With the Angels this season, Lincecum is 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA.
"He hasn't progressed from his first couple starts. He's regressed," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters Saturday.
Lincecum has allowed 39 earned runs in 38.1 innings pitched this year. Opponents are batting .395 against him while he has only struck out 32 batters and walked 23.
The Angels hope Lincecum, 32, will accept the team's assignment and head down to Triple-A to work on his game, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. He has the option of accepting or becoming a free agent.
Lincecum's stats this season put him at the bottom of the league in the worst ways possible. His 2.37 WHIP is the worst in all of baseball (minimum of 20 IP), and his 9.16 ERA is second (minimum of 30 IP) only to the Tigers' Alfredo Simon, who owns a 9.45 ERA, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
After missing nearly a year while recovering from season-ending hip surgery, Lincecum returned to a big-league mound against the A's in Oakland on June 18. In his Angels debut, Lincecum's stat line showed he could prove his worth with his new team in LA, even with a fastball sitting in the high 80s. Lincecum tossed six innings and only allowed four hits and one run as the Angels beat the A's, 7-1.
"It just felt like riding a bike again, ya know," Lincecum said after his win in Oakland. "Just getting the rhythms of the game, and just read them and go from there. The anxiety kind of went away after the first inning."
Following that start in Oakland, all went downhill for Lincecum. Hitters started pounding him -- batting .424 in eight games -- and he allowed 11 home runs and 38 earned runs in 32.1 innings pitched.
At one point, Lincecum wasn't just the most dominant pitcher in the Giants' rotation, while generously being listed at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, but The Freak was the best arm in baseball. Lincecum won his first CY Young Award in 2008, his second year in the league, while going 18-5 with a 2.62 ERA. His ability to strike batters out with a blazing fastball and a combination of a hard-breaking curveball and devastating changeup was evident right away.
Lincecum led the league with 265 strikeouts in 227 innings pitched, good for 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings, which also led the league, in his first Cy Young season. He followed that up with another Cy Young Award in 2009 as he went 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA and again led the league in strikeouts with 261 in 225.1 innings pitched.
The 10-year veteran saw the second half of his career flip his world upside down. Lincecum's first five years in the majors (2007-11) went like so: 156 G, 69-41, 2.98 ERA, 1028 IP, 1127 K, 379 BB, 9.9 K/9. In that time, he made four-straight All-Star teams, won two Cy Young Awards and was a key part of the Giants winning the 2010 World Series.
But, that was far from what the last five years would look like. With the Giants, and this season with the Angels, here's how the second half (2012-16) of Lincecum's career looks like: 122 G, 41-48, 4.94 ERA, 654 IP, 609 K, 290 BB, 8.4 K. He did throw two no-hitters and won two more World Series rings in a decreased role.
As it stands today, Lincecum is 110-89 with a 3.74 ERA and has recorded 1736 strikeouts in 1682 innings pitched.