Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Barry Zito Question

The mob is forming and the crowd wants Barry Zito's head after he wet the bed for the third time in three starts. In 15 and two third innings over the last 3 games Zito has given up 19 runs, with hitters sporting a line .333/ .397/ .651.

It's been ugly especially the .651 slugging percentage.

For those keeping score at home that's a 10.96 ERA and a 8.33 FIP. So I really understand that people not wanting to keep the guy around and because the Giants have the benefit of Jonathan Sanchez to slide in the rotation Zito having time to work out things but I am not ready to give up on Zito for nothing.

Let me throw out some names here, A.J. Burnett, Kyle Lohse, Tim Wakefield, Clayton Richard, and Zach Duke.

All pretty good starters, not great but serviceable. These guys wouldn't be the best starters but they are number 4 and 5 starters on most teams. This is the category of pitchers that Barry Zito fits in with. Since 2009 among pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched these are the best comparables for him.

All of these guys have a fielding independent pitching about 8% above league average and are going to find a job on most major league rotations. Yeah Zito is overpaid but he hasn't completely gone off the cliff into nothingness.

Zito is now a very expensive insurance policy and not one that we want to just throw away but it nice to have the option to put him on the shelf an wait for an emergency.

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