Last October, Barry Zito was chosen over current Giants ace Madison Bumgarner to take the ball in Game 5 of the NLCS. Most San Francisco Giants fans decided to throw the towel in the season.
Zito, on the other hand, decided not to. He twirled a 7.2-inning shutout, one that kept the Giants alive and allowed the Giants to win the series. After surrendering just one run in Game 1 of the Fall Classic, Zito became a San Francisco folk hero and a two-time World Series champion.
However, right now, he isn’t exactly a hero.
Zito is 4-10 with a 5.09 ERA this season, and he has an appalling 1.68 WHIP. His 9.97 road ERA is ridiculously bad, and his last few starts have been horrible. Somehow, Zito has just one quality start in his last nine outings, and he doesn’t have a quality start in his last six outings.
It would be hard for the Giants to pull the plug on a player as classy as Zito, especially considering that he was a key contributor in their 2012 championship run. However, as CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly reports, they could do so. According to Baggarly, the Giants could start Guillermo Moscoso, who was acquired in a trade on Friday and pitched 2.2 mediocre innings in his Giants debut, on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays. In addition, they could start Michael Kickham, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his most recent minor league start.
Moscoso, who would be more likely to start if Zito is skipped, has a 3.93 ERA in 17 starts in Triple-A, and he posted a sub-4.00 ERA in 2011 with the Oakland A’s. He could definitely make a spot start Sunday, and Ryan Vogelsong could definitely return next Friday and seize Zito’s rotation spot for the final two months of the season.
It would be hard for the Giants to bounce Zito from the rotation, but it could happen. He’s pitched horribly, and it may be time for the Giants to end his miserable seven-year tenure with the team.
In other words, it may be time for the Giants to release Zito.