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Tim Lincecum: starter vs reliever

Why is it that Timmy Lincecum sems to excel in relief appearances, but does not do too well as a starter?

I know he pitched a no hitter against the Padres during the 2014 season... but generally he has not pitched well as a starter the past couple of seasons.

Anyone have any idea what might be the cause?
I really don't think we even need him anymore. If his role is going to be limited, why not just replace him?
Originally posted by GiantsFan:
I really don't think we even need him anymore. If his role is going to be limited, why not just replace him?

OK. Bum is obviously #1... Matt Cain (assuming he is fully healthy) is #2... Hudson is under contract for one more season(?) #3,,, Peavy (?) and Vogelsong are FAs... seems like Lincecum would be a natural #3. Why replace him if he can still get people out?
He's just so unreliable now. I'm sure he can be replaced.
Hopefully Cain will be back to his 2012 form next year. He wasn't too great in 2013, if I recall he gave up a ton of homers that year. Hopefully Bumgarner will be ok next year after pitching so many innings and obviously setting the bar pretty high. So, Bumgarner is #1 of course. Then Cain. But if the Giants get Lester or Scherzer (which probably wont happen if I had to bet I would bet both those guys will go to another team that is willing to spend a ton) I guess Cain becomes #3 in that scenario. Then Hudson or Lincecum fight for the #4 spot? And what happens if they re-sign Vogelsong for cheap? If that's the case I really don't know who becomes the #5 guy out of those 3. Obviously if that happens, Lincecum may be moved to the bullpen anyways. And don't forget about Petit. There are actually a lot of options they can do for the rotation, but bottom line is that they need to sign a free agent who is worth something.