Manager Bruce Bochy confirmed on Sunday that despite Lincecum's postseason success in the bullpen, he'll return to his usual role as a starter in 2013 according to USA Today Sports. Lincecum has excelled in the relief role, pitching 4 2/3 hitless innings with eight strikeouts and just one walk.
"Timmy is an incredible talent and he's a great starter," said Bochy. "It just so happened that we thought he
could really help us in the bullpen, where he's done an amazing job,
but he's a starter and that's where he is going next year."
Lincecum struggled during the 2012 regular season as a starter, going 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 186 innings. His fastball was down two miles per hour from 2011, averaging 90.4 in 2012 and 92.3 in 2011. Part of Lincecum's lack of success can be attributed to bad luck, his career BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is .295, while it stood at .309 in 2012, though the loss in speed is most concerning.
Still, there was little chance the Giants would be willing to go into 2013 with Lincecum as a starter since he's set to earn $22 million next season. The Giants will be getting closer Brian Wilson back from Tommy John surgery and Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo both had solid seasons out of the pen.
The Giants will just have to hope that Lincecum can carry the success he's had in relief into next year as a starter.