Despite his persistent struggles on the mound, Barry Zito will likely stay with the San Francisco Giants through the end of the year, reports Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area.
There's no question that the Giants will take Zito's $7 million 2014 buyout when their season mercifully ends, but until now it was unclear whether they'd eat that cost a month early or not. Apparently they won't.
The team needs to remove two players from the 40-man roster this week to make room for the remainder of their September call-ups, but manager Bruce Bochy says Zito's spot is safe. The decision seems to rest on the idea of showing Zito respect for his time and effort over the last seven years, with Bochy saying the team is "pulling for him." One imagines this would not be the case if the Giants were anywhere near playoff contention.
Zito's season-long troubles on the road continued in San Diego on Monday. The southpaw needed 76 pitches to get through just 18 batters, ultimately surviving long enough to get through four frames and take the loss. San Francisco is now winless in 11 road starts from Zito, who hasn't won a game in any park since the end of May.
The 35-year-old owns an unsightly 5.91 earned-run average in 128 innings overall on the year, easily his worst numbers in his tumultuous seven-year tenure in the Bay Area.