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Giants send Barry Zito to bullpen

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Barry Zito will be doing this out of the Giants' bullpen for the time being. (USATSI)
Barry Zito will be doing this out of the Giants' bullpen for the time being. (USATSI)

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Remember when the Giants had a rotation to envy? Here's the latest data point that proves those days are over: Veteran lefty Barry Zito has been demoted to the bullpen.

Zito, who's pitched to a 5.09 ERA across 21 starts this season, coughed up four runs in just 3 1/3 innings against the Phillies on Tuesday, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to make the move.

"How long this is going to be, I can't tell you, but it was time to change it up so (Zito) will be in long relief," Bochy told the AP. "Sometimes it's just time for a change. You get in a rut."

Guillermo Moscoso will take Zito's next scheduled start on Sunday against the Rays. As well, right-hander Ryan Vogelsong is slated to return from a minor-league rehab assignment late next week, barring setback.

Worth noting: Zito, 35, needs 104 1/3 more innings this season in order for his $18-million option for 2014 to vest. However, that wasn't going to happen even if he remained in the rotation.

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