With no hope of the playoffs for the San Francisco Giants, will Bruce Bochy give Barry Zito at least one final start as a Giant? That’s a question floating around, and one that Bochy has considered, according to Chris Haft of MLB.com.
When a reporter wondered whether Zito might be mixed into the rotation if the Giants needed a sixth starter to rest some tired arms, Bochy said, “I would say he would be the candidate.”
The writing is on the wall for Zito at the end of the season. His massive contract is coming to an end, with 2014 being only an “option” year. The Giants’ options seem pretty simple. Option Zito for next year at $18 million, or simply buy out the option for $7 million and send him on his way. Zito’s career ERA with the Giants is 4.63 with a 62-80 record. This season however, he’s 4-11 with a 5.91 ERA. 2012 was arguably his best season, notching 15 wins, and ending the season with a 4.15 ERA. Aside from a bad start in the NLDS last year, he was excellent in the playoffs, specifically the NLCS and the World Series, combining for a 0.68 ERA with 2 Wins and 13.1 innings pitched.
The simple fact that Zito has grinded it out during his rough years in San Francisco, along with him being a big part of the 2012 World Series season, will forever give him a place in the heart of Giants fans, and probably Bochy and his staff.
Personally, I’d like to see him get a final start at AT&T Park so that the fans can show their love and appreciation for him. I imagine there are very few who would want to see his $18 million option picked up after this season, but that doesn’t mean a proper goodbye isn’t in order. I think Bochy and the Giants’ organization are classy enough to make this happen.