I was thinking for writing this on time (that is, Friday), but wound up letting it go...until now, when I just looked at the pitching matchup for tomorrow. And really: why is Zito starting?
No, really. Why is Zito starting? For that matter, why is Zito on this team?
Seriously. We're talking about a very, very, very, bad starting pitcher. You want to see his ERA+ with the Giants? From 2007 through this week, in order: 99, 85, 105, 94, 60, 85, 58. Yes: he's had 23 starts this year despite zero expectation that he would be any good and then zero positive results.
So it took them however many starts to remove him from the rotation, but finally they did...and they he came back! And apparently is just going to stay there. Despite that there's no way that he has less chance of being a positive contributor to the next Giants winning team than...well, he may have less chance than Russ Davis.
Tomorrow will be Zito's 163rd start for the Giants in seasons in which he didn't reach a 100 ERA+. That's got to be historically very rare, no? I poked around Giants history a bit and found only one guy to top it; Woody had 178 starts in seasons where he fell short of 100 ERA+. But four of those seasons were over 90, and he mixed in a couple of very nice seasons...it wasn't nearly as bad.
Look, I know that there are injuries, and I know that Fresno wasn't stocked with guys who look like they'll make it, but I don't care; they're better off taking a shot at Machi or Rosario or Kontos turning out to be a hidden future starter.
I have nothing against Barry Zito as a person. And I certainly get the sense that he's tried his hardest over the last seven years. It's not his fault that the Giants offered him a terrible contract. And of course I'll always appreciate his start against the Cardinals in the LCS last year. However, there's just no reason for him to be on the active roster, much less starting games. And there hasn't been for years.