Giants likely to put Barry Zito back in the bullpen

USA TODAY Sports

Nothing is official yet, but it's looking like Zito may have made his last start as a Giant.

The San Francisco Giants have changed Sunday's starter from left-hander Barry Zito to "TBA," indicating that the club will probably go ahead with Yusmeiro Petit in Arizona over the weekend, reports Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area.

The adjustment likely means that Zito will live out the final month of his contract in the bullpen, though it's possible he'll make a start or two at home. Manager Bruce Bochy said he would make the decision public after Wednesday's game, but as of Thursday morning there had been no official word on his choice.

Zito, 35, has been miserable on the road as a starter this year. The southpaw owns a 9.41 earned-run average in 10 starts away from AT&T Park, none of which the team has won. Zito hasn't had any victories at all since May 30, so whether his shift to bullpen duty will be full-time or just for road series is still up in the air.

Overall, Zito has an unsightly 5.81 ERA in 124 innings on the year.

Zito's seven-year tenure with the Giants has been a rocky one, but it hasn't been all bad for the former Cy Young winner. A 4.60 ERA in 1,130 innings is not exactly what San Francisco was hoping for when they handed him his $126-million contract, but some would argue his stellar performance in the 2012 postseason made the whole thing worth it.

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