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Barry Zito ditches the new delivery

Apr 1, 2012, 10:18 PM EDT

Barry Zito AP

It’s starting to feel like a rite of spring: Barry Zito shows up with a new delivery he was working on in the offseason, only to ditch it on the advice of Giants coaches.

Zito arrived this year with a new crouched over stance on the mound. I’ll let Andrew Baggarly take it from here:

Zito, who is still owed $46 million, attempted to mimic Tim Lincecum’s delivery during an offseason working with noted pitching guru Tom House. But observers both inside and outside the Giants organization tell me that Zito doesn’t have the arm speed or athleticism to pull off that delivery. Zito’s arm drags behind his body as he plants his front foot, leading to hittable pitches at the belt.

The end results bared that out: Zito had a 7.91 ERA in five spring starts. He allowed 32 hits, including five homers, in 19 1/3 innings.

The plan is for Zito to use his old delivery in a minor league start Wednesday. He’s still slated to be the Giants’ fifth starter this season, though if he has a rough April, the team could turn to youngster Eric Surkamp. After a solid 2010 season, Zito went 3-4 with a 5.87 ERA during an injury-riddled 2011 campaign.

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 1, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Money well spent right?

    • foreverchipper10 - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      For how long this contract has been so awful it is hard to believe he is still owed 46MM. Unreal.

  2. eknirb - Apr 1, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    One day, I’ll wake up, and the headline will say, “Giants to release Zito.”
    Please, have that day come soon.

  3. bobulated - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Time to call Phil Niekro!

  4. sjsharksfan11 - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Just buy out that nightmare contract already. This guy is an idiot and a failure.

    • mrfloydpink - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:40 AM

      A failure? Probably so. But an idiot? It is not Zito’s fault that the Giants offered a contract far out of line with his underlying (and declining) skills. And he’s shown nothing but a willingness to work hard and to try new things in order to give his team as much value as is possible. So, I see no basis for calling him an idiot.

      Further, it is worth noting–as others have–that he’s still a viable end of the rotation starter, and the best option the Giants have for their #5 slot. Sucks to pay that much for him, but it’s better than getting nothing for the money, ala Cubs and Zambrano, Angels and Gary Matthews, etc. Someone who suggests cutting Zito, simply because his salary offends them, well–that’s getting rather closer to the definition of ‘idiot’ to me.

      • SOBEIT - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:09 AM

        It’s not the salary that offends, it’s his pitching. Most of us are past the salary thingy…that’s why we want to dump him. Getting nothing is better than trotting him out there every 5 games for a guaranteed loss. “We play to win the game!” We might as well forfit the game and save the wear and tear on the other players who have to stand there and watch his weekly unraveling. Zito is just a waste when a 50 year old Moyer will pitch better than he will this season.

        By dumping him now, that would be 20-40 more games that the Giants have a chance to win.

  5. 49ersgiants4life - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Can’t buy it out because we have nobody for the fifth starter. And we traded Zack Wheeler for Beltran.

    • finfan88shark - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:48 AM

      Who’s a better pitcher Zito or UFA Roy Oswalt. Do it Soybean.

      • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:59 AM

        This.

  6. Bill - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    “The end results bared that out”

    Really, Matthew?

    • jimbo1949 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      naked ambition?

  7. yournuts - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    You better worry about paying Matt Cain, if Barry Zito is making 23 million then what do you think Matt Cain is worth? 30 million? It is not Matt Cain’s fault that Brian Sabean gave Zito that contract, but Matt Cain is worth twice what Barry Zito is worth.

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