What if Tim Lincecum doesn't immediately win the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards? What then? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?
And I never understood the whole "breathing into a paper bag"-thing. Doesn't work for me.
So there's a little hiccup in Lincecum's path to greatness. He doesn't have impeccable control, his pitch counts can run up quickly, and his fastball can be hit if the hitter is waiting for it. We've been through this before. Matt Cain ran into a wall last season, and he was skipped over in the rotation. There was a sound argument for sending him down and a sound argument for letting him take his lumps in the bigs. It wasn't an issue after the skipped start, though. Cain was one of the better pitchers in the league after he returned to the rotation.
Cain's struggles were worse than what Lincecum is going through right now. Cain was being slapped around the park. Lincecum is mixing in a bunch of bleeders, passed balls, and stolen bases aided by Lincecum's own brain lock. That's not to say there aren't problems; there are. Leadoff walks are just killing him, and if he isn't getting the curve over consistently, a hitter can sit on the fastball. It doesn't help that he's hanging a good portion of the curveballs that are catching the plate.
Lincecum is a young pitcher with imperfect control. So it goes. But there's no reason to panic and send him down. He's in a stretch where everything he does wrong is killing him. Stay the course. We're still about two more awful starts before it even becomes a real question.
I'd love to see more of the changeup, though....