Lincecum's stats are not great this year, but they're not awful, either. After his mediocre July 4th start against the Padres, Timmy is 6-7 with a 3.14 ERA. On a team that scores more runs, he could easily have 10 or 11 wins. His WHIP is at 1.19, which is about in line with his career average (and better than what he posted last year).
Giants and NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy need not defend his choice of Lincecum to join a pitching staff that also includes San Francisco teammates Matt Cain, Brian Wilson, and Ryan Vogelsong. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Gwen Knapp does an able job of explaining why in today's piece. In short, Gwen points out an obvious fact: Lincecum is one of those transcendent athletes who the fans deserve to see. Some guys are automatic All-Stars in my book: Jeter, Pujols, Mariano Rivera. Unless they're injured or truly awful, they have to be there.
But my esteemed colleague Steve Bitker tosses out another point of view. Maybe, Steve suggests, Lincecum should be left off the All-Star roster this year for his own good. Part of Lincecum's charm is the fact that he wears his emotions on his sleeve. We thrill to his highs, but right now, he seems a bit worn out. Steve argues that Lincecum might benefit from an All-Star break--time away from baseball, time to recharge his mental battery.
I'd sure miss seeing him on the All-Star mound, but a refreshed Timmy would be a fine sight for the rest of the Giants season.