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Barry Zito may have just gotten bumped from the Giants rotation

Aug 1, 2013, 12:43 PM EDT

Barry Zito Getty Images

After giving up 11 runs and pitching just 10 innings in his last three starts, Barry Zito is apparently on his way out of the Giants rotation. The team has listed its Sunday starter as TBA.

Zito, whose seven-year, $126 million contract finally expires at season’s end, came up big in the Giants’ postseason run last year, going 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA during the regular season and then 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in the playoffs for the World Series winners. However, he’s slipped to 4-8 with a 5.09 ERA and an ugly 1.68 WHIP this year.

Despite the poor record, Zito has been an effective pitcher more than half of the time this year. Check out his splits:

Home: 4-1, 2.66 ERA, 4 HR in 74 1/3 IP (12 starts)
Road: 0-7, 9.97 ERA, 8 HR in 37 IP (nine starts)

That includes his “road” start in last week’s doubleheader against the Reds counted as a home outing. The game, originally scheduled for Cincinnati, was played in San Francisco with the Reds as the home team.

Zito’s next turn was scheduled to come in Tampa Bay against a Rays team that has an average 36 points higher versus lefties than righties, so it makes a ton of sense to skip him, at the very least. However, with the Giants hoping to get Ryan Vogelsong back from the DL next week, it could be at least a semi-permanent trip to the pen. Guillermo Moscoso could be the choice to start in his place Sunday.

  1. bgrillz - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    After what he did for the Giants last post season, I kind of figured this would happen. He gave the last he had when it mattered most. At least that contract comes off the books. Gaudin has been exceptional. Vogey on the way back, Zito’s career as a Giant will end in the pen barring injury or shutdown. Lost season for the defending champs.

  2. theaxmancometh - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Whatever it takes to avoid that $18m option from vesting

    • Matthew Pouliot - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      It shouldn’t be a factor. The option vests at 200 innings, and even if he suddenly goes on a run of great outings, he’s not getting there. He’s at 111 right now with, at most, 11 or 12 starts left. He’s currently averaging 5 1/3 innings per start.

  3. dcarroll73 - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Now if only we could build a pitcher with Zito’s home stats and Hughes’s road stats … how about the Yanks sending Hughes to the Giants? I think it could have that effect.

  4. Francisco (FC) - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Maybe there’s a way the Giants can screw with the rotation to give him only home starts? The first Home/Road starter platoon in MLB!

    • gloccamorra - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      That could start a trend – there are lots of pitchers who look good at home and stink on the road. The problem with it is that pitchers who pitch well on the road also pitch well at home, and there’s not enough of them to go around.

  5. temporarilyexiled - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Let’s see…

    Bumgarner…solid…

    Gaudin…soiled…I mean solid…

    Vogelsong…which one is returning?…

    Lincecum…which one is still here?…will he still be here?…as a starter?…in the bullpen?…

    Cain…new albatross contract?…return of the horse?…

    Zito…reminds me of a Robert Crumb character…

    Others…???…!!!

    This is how Dave Righetti earns his money.

    Gives me a brain cramp.

  6. gloccamorra - Aug 1, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    The 2011 trade of Zach Wheeler for a two month rental of Carlos Beltran is looking worse and worse every day. You don’t suppose the reluctance to trade prospects is the reason for the quiet trade deadline?

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