Barry Zito Regains His Game

Joseph LopezCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009

SEATTLE  - MAY 24:  Starting pitcher Barry Zito #75 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Seattle Mariners on May 24, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners defeated the Giants 5-4. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

After picking up Barry Zito in my fantasy league I was the victim of instant criticism by those in my league. People said some harsh things about Barry, especially after he struggled in his '09 debut against the Padres.

But, since then, he's changed. He seems like the same Barry Zito for whom I rooted when he was wearing green and gold. Zito seems like he's focused again, which is very good news for the San Francisco Giants; they invested $126 million when signing him after the 2006 season.

"Z," as I call him, has regained some confidence in his fastball and curveball, and has had some great success this season. Though his ERA is right around the 4.00 mark, he's still much better than he was a year ago. Zito seems more relaxed now that he's not the focal point of the rotation.

Having Tim Lincecum, Randy Johnson, and Matt Cain pitching alongside definitely helps. Barry Zito has been rock solid despite receiving practically no run support from the anemic Giants offense. But Z says he prefers it that way. It keeps him focused.

Though he's by no means a beast in fantasy baseball, he's still a productive pitcher who has pitched particularly well. Unlike the '07 or '08 Zito that Giants fans have come to hate, the '09 Zito has pitched well, and has won over some fans with his rebound.

Though he's wearing a Giants uniform, he resembles that guy who won the 2002 CY Young and wore green and gold.