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Stadium: AT&T Park | Manager: Bruce Bochy
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Zito will have tough time cracking rotation

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Zito will have tough time cracking rotation

Barry Zito threw 50 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday as he recovers from a sprained right foot, and he's likely to be ready to return to the Giants in about two weeks.

But what will be the role for the veteran left-hander? He might have the team's biggest contract, but that's not going to outweigh the superb job that Ryan Vogelsong has done in his spot in the rotation.

Vogelsong is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA, and the Giants have won every game he has started. His ERA is tops among Giants starters.

Could the Giants consider replacing Madison Bumgarner, who has opened the season 1-6 with a 3.71 ERA? Probably not. Bumgarner is still developing, the Giants aren't likely to want to disrupt the track a bright young starter is on, and, at any rate, his ERA isn't all that bad -- and it's a lot better than Zito's 6.23.

The most likely thing, barring an injury in the rotation in the next few weeks, is that Zito will head to long relief or the occasional spot start. But if Vogelsong or even Bumgarner really stumbled, Zito could be an option for the Giants down the road.

Trading Zito is almost unthinkable. He's got two years remaining after this year on his seven-year, $126 million deal -- and the 2014 option comes with a $7 million buyout.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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