None of these guys are named Tim Lincecum and yet Timmy has been told (not sure by whom) that he is a part of the playoff rotation.
Assuming safely that Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner are also part of the playoff rotation this leaves the decision between Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito as the 4th starter in the playoffs.
As much as I love Vogey, I think Zito gives you the best chance to win on multiple fronts.
First of all, Zito has playoff experience (with the A's) and Vogelsong does not.
Second, Vogey has proven bullpen experience, Zito does not.
Basically, Zito is useful as a starter, not as a reliever and there doesn't seem to be any other option than to put Vogelsong in the bullpen as an emergency starter and/or long reliever.
Why not have Vogey start instead of Timmy?
Lincecum also hasn't had bullpen experience and has obvious playoff experience 2 short years ago getting the Giants to their first World Series in San Francisco.
However, going 10-15 with an ERA over 5.00 all year long, it would seem that the almost always consistent Vogelsong would deserve a playoff start this year a lot more than Lincecum.
In terms of who deserves to start a game in the postseason more, I don't think there's any question that Vogelsong has earned his right and Lincecum has not. Lincecum has struggled all year long and has already faltered in his late season resurgence. He's appeared all too hitable and does not look at all like the Tim Lincecum who took the Giants to a World Series win 2 years ago.
Everyone that follows baseball knows that after a struggling season, you cannot just decide to turn it on for the playoffs. It does not work that way. And yet the Giants are clinging to the thought that their playoff lives depend on whether or not Tim Lincecum can pitch well in the postseason.
Right now I'm not so sure I would gamble the season on the strength of Timmy's arm. The flip side of it is that if there's some way he can bring back even a fraction of the magic he had from 2010, that this team would make it far in the postseason.
All that being said, Vogelsong is probably still the best person to add to the bullpen and let Timmy and Zito get their starts. Vogelsong will be there to pick up the pieces if the Giants falter anyway.
Laws of the Day
The 2012 Giants have 5 starters with double digit wins. Wanna know when the last time the Giants had that? It was 2002 when the Giants made it to the World Series.
Russ Ortiz, 14-10
Kirk Rueter, 14-8
Jason Schmidt, 13-8
Livan Hernandez, 12-16
Ryan Jensen, 13-8
Matt Cain, 16-5
Madison Bumgarner, 16-11
Ryan Vogelsong, 14-9
Barry Zito, 14-8
Tim Lincecum, 10-15
* with 3 games left