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Legends On Deck

Barry Zito Attempting Comeback

It must be difficult for a former Cy Young Award winner to come to the realization, that if he wants to pitch again in the major leagues he will have to fight his way back.  This is the case with Barry Zito.

Zito, 37, had such a promising young career when he made it to the majors in 2000 as a 22-year old.  He was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the first round of the 1999 draft, and spent seven years with them in the majors, collecting a Cy Young in 2002 when he went 23-5, and three All-Star selections.

He became a free agent at the end of the 2006 season and was snatched up by the San Francisco Giants to the tune of a seven-year $126 million contact. zito2It was a boatload of money which he never really quite lived up to.  He was a very durable pitcher during his career in the major leauges making 33 or more starts nine of ten seasons from 2001-2010.

He was a member of the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, however was left off the playoff roster due to late season struggles.  Injuries forced him to make only 13 appearances in 2011 with four of them being out of the bullpen.

He had a nice bounce back year in 2012 winning 15-games for the first time as a Giant and the first time since 2006 when he went 16-10 for the A’s.  He would work as a starter for most of his final season in the majors in 2013 with the Giants which wasn’t a pretty one.

Times have certainly changed for Zito.  He signed a minor league contract in Oakland this offseason with incentives if he reaches the majors and could make the club at some point this season as a starter or a long reliever.  Trying to re-establish yourself after a year away from the game has to be difficult.

Friday night Zito made his first appearance in the minors since 2011 with the Nashville Sounds.  He lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up two runs (both unearned) on five hits with one strikeout.  Not much could have been expected of Zito in his first action in over a year.

 

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John Ginder

Site Co-Founder/Senior Editor and Co-Host at Legends on Deck® The Podcast
In the past John has been a part of such successful sites as MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net.John was born and raised in upstate New York and has a love of all sports but mainly baseball. He has grown used to heartache with his teams as he roots for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres too.John has a loving and understanding wife and is the the proud father of two amazing boys.He also loves heavy metal music.

You can also reach out to John at jginder@legendsondeck.com