Bullpen or Skipped Start Possible for Tim Lincecum

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As you may have heard, Tim Lincecum is not having a good year. Eliminating his starts from the Giants record, they're the best team in baseball.

Despite those struggles, the Giants appear to be standing behind Lincecum and expecting a breakout at some point.

Or perhaps not: Bruce Bochy went on Sirius XM Radio on Tuesday and told former GM Jim Bowden that the possibility of moving the Freak to the bullpen and/or skipping one of his starts has been discussed.

"Bruce Bochy told us on our show today that he & Sabean have discussed ways to help Lincecum [including] missing a start or possible move to bullpen," Bowden tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Yikes. The idea of sending Tim Lincecum to the bullpen to fix something is just ... weird. Prior to this season, Lincecum owned a career 69-41 record, having struck out 1,127 batters in 1,028 innings and posting a 138 ERA+ for his career.

He won two freaking Cy Youngs, for crying out loud.

But he's been miserable this year, of course, and as a result something has to happen. The skipped start plan isn't terrible -- it just gives Lincecum more time off to relax, regroup and get his mess together. But it also applies more pressure to his next start.

And the bullpen move just seems like something for a pitcher of much less stature than Lincecum. It doesn't seem right. But then again, Lincecum's not right and the Giants have to figure out a way to get him back on track.

If that means something as unfathomable as relieving Barry Zito, then so be it.

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