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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Zito Gets First Win

It took nearly 8 weeks of regular season action but after 10 starts, Barry Zito is finally in the win column. The Giants 126 million dollar man got his first win since last September and the Giants have now won three in a row. Zito has definitely turned things around in the month of May. He still isn't where he needs to be, but after a horrific April, he's gone 1-2 with a 2.79 era and 16 k's in 22.1 innings pitched during May. He's still walking more batters than he should, but he's done a very good job at stranding runners on base and pitching out of trouble. I think the few starts that Zito took off have helped him refocus. He looks like a different pitcher now than he did in April. Zito also finally got some offensive support as the Giants scored more than 3 runs for just the second time in Zito's 10 starts. Getting win number one will certainly ease Zito's mind, and now with the monkey somewhat off of his back, I'd expect to see him continue pitching more like he has in May rather than the way he threw in April. Again, not saying that Zito is now suddenly fixed and returned to form. No, he will never live up to the contract he signed, but it doesn't mean he still can't be a quality pitcher.

The Giants have also been getting more consistent production out of Jose Castillo over the last couple of weeks. Castillo has sported a decent slugging percentage all season due to his knack for hitting doubles, but his OBP had been below .300 for most of the season. Now his OBP is up to .327 which has his OPS at a respectable .774. Castillo is still below average offensively for a third basemen, but he's still relatively young (27) and versatile enough to play both second and third base very well. He's still got some upside. Also, with Ray Durham's contract expiring after the year, and Eugenio Velez and Kevin Frandsen unproven, Castillo could position himself to become the Giants everyday second basemen in 2009. He's on pace for a .260 average, 13 home runs, 70 RBI and 80 runs scored which are by no means all-star numbers, but pretty good for a spring training pickup at the league minimum.
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5 Comments:

  • At 5:16 PM, Anonymous philthyphilly said…

    Good to see Zito get a win finally. Maybe that will get the media off his back for a while. He's way overpaid, but he seems like a pretty good guy. I'm rooting for him.

     
  • At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Castillo has been ok. I'd much rather have him than feliz and since we got him for nothing and feliz is making 5 million, take that Philly, haha.

     
  • At 2:12 AM, Anonymous Tej8722 said…

    Hallelujah, it's about time. Zito has pitched well enough as of late to earn a win, it's good to see he got some run support this time around and made it happen, let's hope his confidence keeps picking up.

     
  • At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Cougar2000 said…

    Amen to that, Tej!

     
  • At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Castillo has quietly been effective, not great, but effective. I really hope Frandsen can get healthy before the end of the year and get a few weeks at second.

     

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