Barry Zito started out the spring looking stellar. Yes, Zito was. He looked like he could be solid in the San Francisco Giants’ rotation. However, his last two starts have completely gotten out of hand. In his last one against San Diego, he barely made it into the fourth inning. His spring ERA has now bloated to 7.91 in only 19.1 innings. Add that to his 12 walks, there have been a lot of baserunners this spring.
While the rest of his team heads up to northern California to play in the Bay Bridge exhibition series, Zito will remain in Arizona to try and figure out a way to make it work. He has little time remaining to do that, one start and two side sessions. So, he’ll compete against minor leaguers while in Arizona.
He is scheduled to start April 9th againts the Rockies at Coors Field. The Giants have no other options with Ryan Vogelsong and Eric Surkamp(strained flexor tendon) on the disabled list. Vogelsong is scheduled to join the team on April 15th.
Zito spent much of Saturday throwing on flat ground under the supervision of bullpen coach Mark Gardner. Hopefully the former ace can find a way to just compete in the big leagues.
Last spring, Zito was a tremendous pitcher ion the Cactus league with a 2.30 ERA in 27.1 innings and 16 strikeouts. This spring training has gone much differently for the southpaw, and perhaps the extra time spent in the desert sun will help his delivery and performance.
Side note: When I was in Scottsdale, I paid $60 for a signed mystery ball. I got Barry Zito.