Working his way back from a foot injury which occurred in April, Barry Zito is almost ready to re-join the big league club. After three tune-up games in the minors, the question no one wants to answer looms like a frightening beacon of light over the San Francisco bay.
What do you do with Barry Zito?
His replacement Ryan Vogelsong has pitched exceptionally well going 4-1 with an E.R.A. under two since taking over Zito's spot in the rotation. His success has made it tough to justify demoting him when Zito returns.
On the other hand, Zito was the fourth starter when he went down, and it is difficult to ignore the fact the team still owes him close to $60 million.
Several articles on how to solve this pitching conundrum have been written, but all ended up with no viable conclusion. Even the latest Hardy Boys novel, previously slated to hit bookshelves next week, The Plight of Zito, and The Secret at Alcatraz, was halted when this mystery could not be solved.
So what now?
Sending Vogelsong to the bullpen seems like the most logical option, but that is simply because as a starter, Zito typically surrenders one or more first inning runs each time out while he tries to get his pitches to work.
Additionally, one would break out in hives just at the thought of Zito coming out of the bullpen when the game is on the line. That would take “Giants Torture” to a level a San Quentin Prison guard would not have the stomach for.
All this does is punish Vogelsong for appearing to be the better option than Zito coming out of the bullpen which doesn’t seem fair either.
An outright release of Zito would waste millions of dollars and even just the mention of a trade shouldn’t be tolerated, unless you and your friends are high on nitrates after eating too many Giants dogs at AT&T Park and are not thinking correctly. No team wants him.
There are some saying his mechanics are looking better.
Car mechanics now wearing gold jewelry, designer clothes and hair implants reaping the benefits from Zito’s $126 million dollar contract as they work on his expanding vehicle collection?
If Cy Young, Nolan Ryan and Abner Doubleday were on a field together, they couldn’t improve Zito’s pitching mechanics at this point in the veteran’s career, and Doubleday invented the game (credited with at least).
So, with no favorable solution in sight, I’ve conjured up just the right elixirs on what to do with the lefty, all of which maintain two key objectives:
1. Get the most out of his remaining contract
2. Ensure he doesn’t have to actually throw a pitch.
All of these ideas will save the Giants money in the long haul and keep the team’s ERA at a respectable clip, while allowing Vogelsong to continue in the rotation. It is truly a win-win for everyone.
As a disclaimer, turn on your wit and settle in with a pint of refreshing ale for this slideshow of Zito tomfoolery. None of these solutions are even remotely sane and will be considered as real options, yet all are in good fun.