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Friday, June 20, 2008

Zito, Giants Looking Into Peterson

The Giants have recently shown interest in fired Mets' pitching coach, Rick Peterson, the same pitching coach that helped Barry Zito during his most successful seasons in Oakland. The team has apparently inquired about bringing Peterson aboard as someone who may be able to give Barry Zito some pointers as he tries to break out of his season long slump. Zito has been the cog holding back the rotation all year long. Tim Lincecum has been Cy Young like while Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez have been very effective. Even the number 5 guy, Kevin Corriea is back and pitching solidly. I don't see any reason why the Giants shouldn't be trying anything in their power to right Zito, so hiring Peterson would be a good step in that direction in my opinion. The Mets were one of the other teams in pursuit of Zito back when the Giants signed him in December 2006 while Peterson was still with the club. I don't expect Peterson to work magic with Zito, but he was way more effective pitching in Oakland under Peterson than he has been pitching in San Francisco under Dave Righetti. Nothing has been made official as far as bringing Peterson aboard to the coaching staff, but it wouldn't surprise me if he starts working with his old protege in the coming weeks now that he's no longer with the Mets. Another possibility for fixing Zito that hasn't been bandied about as much is putting the lefty under the knife for Tommy John surgery. Much of Zito's struggles over the last 1 1/2 years have been due to lack of velocity on his fastball. TJ surgery could possibly bring life back to his fastball, although it would be a pretty big risk to take with a guy who's still owed nearly 100 million dollars over the next 5 years.

The Giants actually made an interesting move about a week ago, one that I have yet to comment about here at the Giants Baseball Blog. After the amateur draft, the Giants signed Dominican born outfielder, Rafael Rodriguez. Rodriguez doesn't turn 16 until July 13th, so nothing will be made official until then, but this move mirrors the one they made with Angel Villalona a couple years back. They supposedly have agreed to give the youngster a 2.5 million dollar signing bonus as he's considered one of the better talents in the Dominican Republic at age 15. Like Villalona, it's going to be a long journey to the big leagues for the teenager, but he is certainly another name to keep an eye on as he'll likely crack the Giants top prospect list in 2009. I don't know much about Rodirguez, but apparently he's got 5 tool talent. Even if he doesn't end up being the next Miguel Cabrera, it's good to see the Giants change their philosophy and start investing money into their farm system for a change.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another solid article Trevor. Keep it up man.

  • At 4:21 PM, Anonymous eddiemoney said…

    I guess it couldn't hurt, but I don't think anything's going to help Zito now. He's done. Tommy Surgery might be an option though.

  • At 9:06 AM, Blogger allfrank said…

    The idea that Zito may need TJ surgery seems ridiculous on its face. TJ surgery is surgery in which an elbow ligment is replaced. If Zito had ANY ligament damage he wouldn't be able to even play catch, let alone pitch and throw an 84 MPH fastball.
    Actually, his problems aren't physical at all; they are mental. He has become afraid to throw strikes. He nibbles, and the umpires won't give him the call when he misses by 3 inches, so he gets behind in the count and either ends up walking the hitter or serving up something fat to hit.

  • At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The only good part about Zito having surgery would be that he'd sit out for a year. But Surgery or not, he looks toast.

  • At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    allfrank has got it right.

    TJ is only for when there is an injury problem, it's not a solution when a guy is pitching really badly.

    Agree that they are mental problems, not physical, though it might be coming from a degradation of his physical skills. Zito's fastball has lost velocity. So he's scared to throw it, and tries to paint corners and nibble on pitches. When he's not hitting his spots, he has to go to the fastball, which then get smacked around.

    I fully support the Peterson idea, not because I think it will fix things, but because it might fix things. And at this point, the Giants should try everything they can, because they are stuck with him for a long time now and need to make it work.

  • At 1:19 PM, Anonymous wierdal said…

    Zito's 2-11 with a 6.98 era and a 1.93 whip. Even if he's not officially "injured" there is something majorly wrong with him. Maybe there is a problem with his arm and we just don't know it yet. It's not like a 30 year old pitcher to loose so much so fast.


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