Tim Lincecum has had bouts with his velocity before -- go here and look at the green dots hovering around the 90-m.p.h. line -- but it's still unusual for him to open a season with a fastball this diminished.
And Adam Foster of Project Prospect wanted to look into Lincecum's new repertoire, assigning grades to each of his pitches on the traditional 20-to-80 scouting scale. His conclusion?
Once a freak, Lincecum has become mortal. The stuff he’s had this season is nowhere near the stuff he once dominated with.
The biggest difference between 2012 Lincecum and Cy Lincecum is that Cy Lincecum could get you out with four pitches, while 2012 Lincecum may only be able to get you out with one.
It's an interesting article. My only quibble would be the decision to match Lincecum up with his 2009 season at the expense of his 2010 and 2011 seasons, which also featured spells of reduced velocity. Lincecum didn't win the Cy Young in either season, but he did pick up Cy Young votes, which suggests that he's a pitcher who might have the ability to succeed with a shorter fastball.
But if the question is, "Does Lincecum have the same Cy Young stuff as when he last won the award?", Foster makes a discouraging and persuasive case that he does not.