Zito still in Giants' late-season plans

Zito still in Giants' late-season plans

Zito still in Giants' late-season plans
SAN FRANCISCO -- Of all the roster moves the Giants have made lately, one of the most intriguing transactions was one that they didn't make.

Needing 40-man roster room for left-hander Eric Surkamp, who started Saturday, the Giants easily could have transferred Barry Zito from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, which would have essentially ended his season. Instead, the Giants designated Double-A left-hander Clayton Tanner for assignment, sending the message that they still deemed Zito, who's recovering from a right ankle injury, potentially useful.

Manager Bruce Bochy clearly stated that this was indeed the case.

"He could be ready in a couple of weeks," Bochy said. "That's what we may need, as banged up as we've been getting."

Zito, who threw off a bullpen mound Friday at the Giants' training complex in Arizona and Sunday at AT&T Park, said that he feels good "stuff-wise" but noted that no timetable has been set for his return.

Asked if he had contemplated long-range issues, such as his future with the Giants, Zito said, "My mind has gone to those places, sure. But what can I control? I control what I do today and give my best effort today."

Citing the importance of maintaining "integrity" of effort, he added, "Good things will come when you do that consistently."

The Giants still owe Zito $19 million next year and $20 million in 2013 under terms of his seven-year, $126 million contract. Should they decline to pick up the $18 million club option for 2014, Zito would be due a $7 million buyout.