Saturday, March 5, 2011

Giants Frustrated, But Zito's Spot Secure

Bruce Jenkins's column in the San Francisco Chronicle this past week has sent waves throughout the San Francisco Giants community. Jenkins' report? Barry Zito may be released. So now an offseason where the team had no distractions and could focus on repeating, now has turned into a game of 'What If?'

The report, bogus in itself, was that the Giants were frustrated with Zito because they only made the playoffs by one game, and it wouldn't have been that close if Zito had given them a just a few better outtings. Huh?

Jenkins is credible and very respected in the industry, but this isn't supposed to be serious, right?

That's baseball, Bruce.

I don't doubt that the Giants are frustrated with Zito. $126 million and barely any production. Plus, he was left off the playoff roster. Yeah, they should be disappointed. He's not quite the investment they were hoping for. On top of that, he has shown up to Spring Training out of shape and close to no offseason conditioning. Oh, and he botched his spring debut. That may have fueled this fire.

But are the Giants going to release Zito? No, no , no.

From a financial stand-point, why would they?

Zito's $126 million/7 yrs. still has $57.5 million for 3 years left on it. You think the Giants are going to eat that? Doubt it. Not if Zito starts the season 0-10 are they going to eat that. Although, don't quote me on that.

The hefty $126 million contract aside, from a production stand-point, will the Giants release him? Never.

Zito is one of the best 5th starters in the MLB. Although he gets paid #1 starter money, his 4.09 ERA over the last couple seasons is nothing to be released over.

Take him for what he's worth. He is a decent starter who happens to make a ridiculous sum of money that he doesn't deserve.

But he isn't going anywhere.

Bruce Bochy came out and said that Zito is the team's 4th starter, no questions.

Actually I have one. Number 4? Really?

You're telling me Zito is the 4th best pitcher on this team? Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner are worse than Zito? Check yourself Boch.

So Zito is their guy through thick and thin. Not because the Giants want him to be their guy, but because he has to be their guy. $65 million through 2013 will remind them of that.

This isn't to say Zito's spot in the rotation will be safe the whole season. He's going to have to earn it whether the team acknowledges it or not.

The leash will be short.

The #5 spot in that rotation is fully functional because the Giants have four pitchers that are horses and they can easily get away with a 4-man rotation of they want to get crazy.

Remember, the Giants do have a farm system, and a decent one at that. They did sign Jeff Suppan in the offseason, and Clayton Tanner from AA may be making some strides and will one day pitch in San Francisco. So Zito's spot isn't fully secure. They'll make him work for it.

It should be that way. Zito coming to Spring Training out of shape is no way to get respect back. It only fuels the fire more.

I don't doubt that Zito and the Giants organization are on the same page from a public relations stand-point, but you have to believe that Zito's act is getting old.

Who knows how long the Giants will let him go before they finally snap?

No comments:

Post a Comment