Looking through the scope of small sample sizes. Things I’ve learned thus far in the season:
~ Tim Lincecum is still really, really, really good. In 20 innings pitched to start the season Tim has quickly put to rest any concerns over his ST performances. A brief check of some of his stats — 10.80 K/9, 1.35 BB/9 — indicate that he’s still giving hitters fits at the plate. Of course, it’s just 20 innings pitched, but Lincecum has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for 2 years running and as long as he can stay healthy he’ll be a major asset to the Giants.
~ Bengie Molina is making Brian Sabean look smart. I still think that catcher was one of the main positions that the Giants could have easily upgraded at, but they chose not to turn over the job to Posey and shocked (well, mildly shocked) us all when they re-signed Molina. Molina has been red hot to start the season. He’s posted a wOBA of .401 and has already drawn 2 walks! Two! In 2009, Molina didn’t draw a walk until game #32.
~ The Giants bullpen has not been good. In 2009 the Giants had one of the better bullpens in baseball. Collectively, the bullpen posted a 3.86 FIP in ’09 — which is excellent. So far this year, the bullpen has posted a 4.48 FIP mostly on the backs of Medders, Affeldt, and Joaquin. Relievers are mercurial by nature, so we should reserve some judgment for now, but the Giants will need a strong bullpen if they want to contend in ’10.
~ Barry Zito is still throwing his slider a bunch. A major change for Zito last year was the usage of his slider which doubled in usage from the previous year. Zito isn’t throwing his slider as much this year as last, but he’s still throwing it 13.3% of the time.
Comment Starter: Your favorite SSS stat of 2010