SEATTLE -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy unequivocally stated Sunday morning that Tim Lincecum will remain in the starting rotation, despite the right-hander's descending fortunes. "I know the results haven't been great for Timmy, but you see too many good signs," said Bochy, who discussed the Lincecum issue with general manager Brian Sabean and pitching coach Dave Righetti. "We feel at this point the best thing is to let him fight through this." Indicating that the Giants would indeed move Lincecum to the bullpen or order him to skip a start if that were the braintrust's preference, Bochy added, "If we felt different, we'd do it."
Bochy said that Lincecum's healthy, removing any physical reasons for bumping him from his next scheduled start Friday at Oakland. The Giants have a scheduled off-day Thursday, which conceivably would enable them to skip Lincecum while keeping the other members of the rotation on their normal four days' rest. Lincecum, the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, owns a 2-8 record. The Giants are 2-12 when he starts, having lost in his last nine appearances. His 6.19 ERA is the highest among NL pitchers who have accumulated enough innings to qualify for the league's statistical rankings. But, Bochy said, "This kid's fighting. He's doing all he can to come out of this. Each start he makes, you're hoping that's the start" that turns around his season. Bochy acknowledged that temporarily removing Lincecum from the rotation was considered.
"All these things we talked about," he said. "Any time any player is having a tough time, you try to think of things that would benefit them most. That's what we have to come up with."