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Barry Zito is reverting back to his old form.
Barry Zito always seem to give glimpses of hope. He started the season rescuing the Giants with a shutout in Colorado. He kept dominating all the way up through his June 3rd start against the Cubs, where he ended the day with a 5-2 record and a 2.98 ERA.
Zito must have then looked in the mirror. During his last three starts, he has yielded four, five and eight runs and his ERA has risen to 4.35. He is looking like the pitcher we saw in spring training, where he couldn’t get anybody out.
There are two trains of thought to the Zito problem. The first one is to trade him and the second one is to skip his turn in the rotation. The bullpen is not an option anymore.
Which team will eat a contract that size? The Giants would need to eat a lot, if not all of his contract in order to trade him to a pitching-depleted squad. Eric Hacker from Fresno would be first in line to replace Zito.
The other possibility is to skip Zito in the rotation anytime the Giants have an off day. This strategy might reset Zito and give him that hunger needed to feel like he belongs in the rotation.
Zito is a great guy off the field, but his unique attitude doesn’t translate to the fire needed to be a dominant pitcher. His statements after being rocked around by the Angels showed he doesn’t want it bad enough.
Zito's biggest problem is the differentiation in speed between his fastball and his offspeed pitches. Since there is no longer a big difference, hitters can sit back and take hacks once they realize what type of pitch he is serving up.
The Giants have enough money to cover this mistake with their long sellout streak and continued revenue streams generated by their World Series win in 2010. Zito has proven he can’t be trusted and eventually will have to go when the next big arm is ready.
They don’t want to keep him around long enough to guarantee his 2014 option year.