The left-hander, working his way back from a right mid-foot sprain, said he felt good after Thursday's start for Triple-A Fresno, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy said it was a fair assumption that Zito will rejoin the Major League club in time for their June 28 doubleheader against the Cubs in Chicago.
"He's stretched out. He's been in our rotation, so that would make all the sense in the world for him to be in the mix there," Bochy said. "It's something [general manager] Brian [Sabean] and I will talk about after his next start."
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
Zito's pitching line for Fresno wasn't particularly impressive, as he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks, but he also struck out six and threw 96 pitches. Bochy had originally said he wanted Zito to throw 100 or more, but Zito said it wouldn't have made any sense for him to start another inning just to throw four more pitches.
"As far as the foot goes, everything felt good on that front," said Zito, who is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in three rehab starts. "The ball felt good coming out of my hand. Offspeed was there for the most part. It was a good outing."
Making one of the doubleheader starts seems to be the most logical move for Zito. If the Giants didn't use him, one of their regular starters would have to pitch on short rest in his next outing, which is an unnecessary move when they will have six starters ready to go at that point.
What will happen with Zito after that point, however, remains to be seen. Bochy has repeatedly said that right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who took Zito's spot after his injury, will remain in the rotation -- not a big surprise given his 4-1 record, 1.92 ERA and 54 strikeouts to 18 walks.