Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:13 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 5:32 pm

By C. Trent Rosecrans

So, would you rather have a King or a Freak?

Today's Would You Rather Have isn't easy, that's for sure. We're talking about two of the best pitchers in the game, two right-handers both in their 20s and two guys who lost 14 games in 2011. You want proof that wins is an overrated statistic when it comes to judging a starting pitcher? Felix Hernandez was a .500 pitcher in 2011 and Tim Lincecum was a sub-.500 pitcher. You think either of those guys is a scrub? Yeah, not so much.

The case for Linecum

Lincecum has two Cy Young Awards under his belt before his 28th birthday (this June, by the way) and has thrown at least 212 innings in each of his first four full seasons in the big leagues and he's led the league in strikeouts in the first three of those seasons.

Last season Lincecum went 13-14, but he still had a 2.74 ERA, a 130 ERA+ and a 3.36 xFIP. He also struck out better than a batter an inning and recorded a 1.207 WHIP, while allowing just .6 homers per nine innings.

The case for Hernandez

Hernandez has just one Cy Young, but he arguably deserved another. Oh, and he's not even 26 yet (his birthday is in April). Hernandez came up as a 19-year-old, so he already has seven seasons under his belt, so while young he's hardly inexperienced.

Would You Rather Have
Since his 22nd birthday, Hernandez has thrown at least 200 innings a year, including his 2010 Cy Young year when he was an out from 250 innings on the season.Last season he was 14-14 with a 3.47 ERA but saw his strikeout rate rise to a career-bet 8.6 per nine innings, while his walk rate increased by just a hair.

As for contract status, neither comes cheap -- nor is either locked up long-term. Hernandez is signed through 2014 for a total of $59.5 million, while Lincecum has two more years of arbitration before becoming a free agent after 2013. Lincecum made $14 million last season and has asked for $21.5 million in arbitration this winter, while the Giants are offering $17 million.

Our call

There's no wrong answer to this (and no right answer, for that matter), both are amazing talents. I'd expect the poll to be pretty split. Both pitchers are young, durable and dominant. Both pitchers have home parks that are pitcher-friendly and the money is nearly a wash. There have been injury concerns about both, Hernandez because of his workload and Lincecum because of his slight frame, but neither has had serious injuries. In the end, I'll take Hernandez for his youth, experience and one more year of team control (plus cost certainty).

Fan Vote: Would you rather have Lincecum or Hernandez on your favorite team?

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Since: Jun 30, 2007
Posted on: January 27, 2012 6:24 pm

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

lincecum's small body cannot support that big arm over the course of his career. i take hernandez

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 7:07 am

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Tough call indeed since both are top aces.... but it'd have to be Lincecum with his postseason experience. Seems as though for Lincecum, last year was a down year for him after a long post season. Did Felix try and take it easy last year playing on a horrible Mariners team?  Though they both had 14 losses, Lincecum still held his ERA to under 3.... Felix had an un-ace like 3.47.

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:04 pm

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

This one is about as close to a push as you can get.  Both great pitchers, both have dominant pitches.  Lincecum gets the benefit of pitching in the NL, while Hernandez gets the benefit of pitching in Safeco.

I feel bad for Hernandez -- he is stuck in Seattle, while they have traded off alot of their pitchers.  They have alot of young talent though, so maybe they can get something going for him in the next couple years.

I'd take either one on the Tigers!!!  They'd be the best #2 pitcher of any team in baseball, with the exception of maybe the Phillies.  LOL. 

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:27 pm

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

As a Texas Rangers fan, as of today, looking at the whole picture, I will have to go with Lincecum.  Tim is a proven commodity in big games. (ie Playoffs and World Series) 

I would imagine Felix will pull even or pull ahead if/when the Mariners put together a playoff contending team.  But, up to this point, I'll the guy who has proven he can lead a staff to the Promised Land.

Since: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:09 pm

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

As a fan who has been following Lincecum since he came up in 2007 it pains me to say this, but I've got to go with Hernandez.
Compare their stats and you'll see that Hernandez is the more dominant of the two, and doing it in a league where the pitcher doesn't hit.
Although I think overall Lincecum gives up less hits and earned runs. 

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 10:24 am

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

True...look at the slight frame of Mariano Rivera. 

Since: Sep 1, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 9:36 am

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?


Since: Nov 10, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:51 pm

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Very VERY tough call, but I think I would just have to go with Lincecum....Nothing at all against Hernandez, he is the other right answer.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:04 pm

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

This is a tough one. Felix can hit while Timmy can't. Tim has won cy youngs and has a world series ring. I would take Felix because he isn't asking for $25million.

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 9:42 pm

Would You Rather Have: Lincecum or Hernandez?

Find me some evidence to support your statements about build making a player more durable... good luck, because you won't find any!

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