SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Barry Zito's quest for improvement has prompted him to tweak his pitching delivery once more.
Working off a bullpen mound during the Giants' initial workout for pitchers and catchers Sunday, the left-hander displayed a slightly more pronounced crouch as he bent his right (front) leg before rocking into his motion.
Zito explained that "getting in my legs a little bit" can prompt more momentum through his lower body, which should generate more arm speed.
"I'm just trying to get late movement," said Zito, who altered his delivery as Spring Training began in 2007 but abandoned the experiment. "If velocity comes, great. They talk about the 'tunnel.' When all your pitches look like they're coming out of the same tunnel, that's ideal."
Very little has been ideal for Zito since San Francisco signed him to a seven-year, $126 million deal before the 2007 season. He's 43-61 with a 4.55 ERA as a Giant, including 3-4, 5.87 last year.
Nevertheless, Zito entered Spring Training as San Francisco's probable fifth starter. And he might rise a notch on the rotation's pecking order if Ryan Vogelsong's back injury forces him to open the season on the disabled list.
The 33-year-old Zito, who typically keeps himself in excellent physical condition, added that the passage of time compelled him to adjust.
"As you age, you have to be a little more conscious of things that a lot of times came without effort when you're young," he said.