"I never suggested it. Absolutely not," Zito said. "Am I happy about going to the bullpen? Certainly not. I've been a starting pitcher all my life. I feel like that's my role."
Zito reiterated that he approached Bochy after allowing four runs in 3 1/3 innings last Tuesday in Philadelphia and acknowledged that he was hurting the bullpen by not being able to pitch deep into ballgames.
"I was saying, 'I want you to keep the faith in me,'" Zito said.
The next day, Bochy informed Zito that right-hander Guillermo Moscoso would replace him as Sunday's starter against the Tampa Bay Rays, who have thrived against left-handed starters. Their record against lefties is 23-13.
Bochy told reporters in his pregame briefing Monday that he'll try to keep Zito sharp and find a spot for him to make a start, even with Ryan Vogelsong reclaiming his berth in the rotation with his scheduled start Friday against Baltimore. Vogelsong's impending return gives the Giants a full contingent of starters without Zito or Moscoso.
Asked if he believes Zito will start another game for the Giants, Bochy said, "I do, yeah."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.