Giants not planning to give Zito another start
SAN FRANCISCO -- While reiterating his respect for Barry Zito, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that no plans have been made to assign the left-hander a ceremonial final start at AT&T Park as a gesture of appreciation.
"It's not something we've talked about," Bochy said, though he didn't rule out the possibility that Zito could land a spot start if injuries or other circumstances created a vacancy in the rotation.
Zito's seven-year, $126 million contract ends this season. The Giants are unlikely to pick up the $18 million option for 2014, given Zito's 4-11 record and 5.91 ERA. He would instead receive a $7 million buyout.
The notion of honoring Zito, who's 62-80 with a 4.37 ERA in 206 appearances for the Giants, might seem far-fetched. But he has endeared himself to the community by remaining active in numerous charitable causes. Also, his lone winning season with the Giants, 2012, helped them win the World Series. The Giants won his final 11 regular-season outings, helping him post a 15-8 record. Moreover, he won two more games in the postseason, including his epic Game 5 performance in the National League Championship Series at St. Louis. There, he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings to prolong the Giants' surge to the title.
Zito has maintained a gentlemanly demeanor through his ups and downs, which was again evident Thursday. Bochy said Zito came to his office to thank him for the second-chance stint of three starts he received after being sent to the bullpen in early August.
"Barry has been such a standup guy," Bochy said.