For many the $126 million contract that Barry Zito signed after leaving the A's, was too much to swallow. For one, giving a pitcher a seven-year contract is a huge gamble. But, the San Francisco Giants took that risk—and so far it hasn't paid off. After two seasons since signing the deal that will pay him $126 million over seven years, Barry Zito, is looking for answers.
Unlike his days in the green-and-gold, Zito hasn't found much success in the Giants rotation. Zito started the 2008 season with an 0-8 record. Zito's velocity dropped, causing his fastball to top out at 84 MPH. Because of his little league fastball, Zito's famous 12-6 curve became ineffective, and became hitting practice for opposing teams.
But, Zito rebounded somewhat after being put into the bullpen. Zito came back and played solid baseball, going 10-9 after his 0-8 start. Zito's fastball climbed back to the 86-87 MPH range, making his curve much more effective.
Although Zito hasn't found much success with the Giants, look for him to come out firing in the 2009 Season. Zito's late success last year will carry over into this upcoming season. If Zito's command and velocity come back to him, then he's an ace once again. Especially if the Giants add a big bat to their silent offensive attack. Manny Ramirez anyone?
Look for Zito to post better numbers this year, especially if he has an offense to back him up.