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  1. zito appears set to be the highest paid long reliever in mlb history… another accomplishment to his illustrustous career.

    Comment by johngomes — May 16, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  2. Let’s say Vogelsong keeps this up over his next four starts with 3 good ones and a rough one and his FIP regresses to somewhere in the 3.5-3.7 range.

    At the same time, a rehabilitating Barry Zito pitches like Barry Zito in San Jose & Fresno (lots of walks, lots of hits).

    What’s the most realistic outcome given the above scenarios ? Extend the DL to 60 ? Cut bait ? Pay the Yankees to take him ? Bring him back aboard regardless ?

    Should be interesting…

    Comment by Scout Finch — May 16, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  3. I wonder how long they can leave Zito “rehabbing” in AAA? Forever?

    Comment by Kriz — May 16, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  4. Maybe this is a tired opinion, but, lay off these guys (Zito, Wells, etc) for their contracts. Its just a cheap, meaningless, opinion. Zito is an incredibly accomplished pitcher who took the best deal offered to him; he didn’t force the giants into this deal and has handled himself with class while being constantly pilloried by morons for taking what the market decided was his just compensation.

    Comment by Big Jgke — May 16, 2011 @ 10:26 am

  5. Maybe the Angels will take him?

    Comment by Canuckistani — May 16, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  6. I’m having fun watching Vogelsong, and I’m rooting for him, but I would hardly characterize it as a comeback; more like finally breaking through.

    Comment by Levi Davis — May 16, 2011 @ 10:48 am

  7. This.
    He’s only pitched more than 100 innings in year once and that was worth an incredible -.1
    So I gotta say that’s it a breakthrough as well.

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen — May 16, 2011 @ 10:57 am

  8. Exactly – not his fault that the Giants offered him a pile of cash. What is he supposed to do? Say no? Blame the front office, not the player.

    Comment by Everett — May 16, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  9. Nice article. Any reason to believe his true talent level is way better than what the mainstream thought before the season started? Is there any new pitch that has made him better? Or are we just waiting for the heavy regression towards replacement level?
    vr, Xei

    Comment by xeifrank — May 16, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  10. I’d like to believe he’s found something that actually makes him better, but I think regression is far more likely.

    Comment by GiantHusker — May 16, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  11. Also watching the game on Saturday night in extremely rainy and horrible conditions he was still able to get the break and rotation on his curveball. Something Doug Davis was unable to do.

    Comment by SFSUGatorAlum — May 16, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  12. He was always a big arm guy with poor command. I can’t imagine the trade to Pittsburgh helped him. Remember that Colby Lewis was a first round pick who was considered a bust, went to Japan, then last year happened. Not saying he’s Lewis, but you could probably do a lot worse than Vogelsong as your 5th starter. Actually, let me just throw Kyle Davies out there.

    Comment by Paul — May 16, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  13. From Baseball America’s Top 10 from 2002:

    7. Ryan Vogelsong, rhp

    Age: 24. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Drafted: Kutztown (Pa.), 1998 (5th round). Signed by: Alan Marr (Giants).

    Background: San Francisco traded Vogelsong and Armando Rios to the Pirates for veterans Jason Schmidt and John Vander Wal. Vogelsong was sent to Nashville to build up arm strength as a starter after serving as a reliever for the Giants. He was part of Pittsburgh’s late-season callups and tore an elbow ligament in his second start, necessitating Tommy John surgery in mid-September.

    Strengths: Vogelsong doesn’t have one dominant pitch but has command of four good ones. His fastball reaches 94 mph and he throws it to both sides of the plate. He also has a fine curveball, a late-breaking slider and an improving changeup. Vogelsong has outstanding makeup, as he’s intelligent and noted for his competitiveness.

    Weaknesses: Vogelsong’s future is cloudy after surgery. He’ll miss all of 2002, which figured to be his first full season in the major leagues.

    The Future: The Pirates hope Vogelsong eventually can slot into the middle of their rotation, maybe even as a No. 2 starter.

    Comment by Paul — May 16, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

  14. Agreed. It’s not like Zito purposefully went into decline to spite the Giants. A team he thought he would like to play for told him he was worth an exorbitant amount of money. Yeah, we could see some problems with that deal in advance, but can honestly you fault a professional athlete with a track record of success for believing he would continue to excel?

    And who here would give the money back? Okay, you would, Gil Meche. Good for you. Very few others, though.

    Comment by Sour Bob — May 16, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

  15. Look: Zito is, by all accounts, a great guy. Supportive teammate, upstanding guy who didn’t cause a distraction during the postseason last year when it’s reasonable to assume that the vast majority of players would’ve cried publicly in similar positions, etc. But if you haven’t actually endured more than a handful of Zito’s starts in a Giants uniform, you’re only getting half the equation.

    You’re quite right that Zito is not to blame for his contract. In fact, I’d go you one further and say he should be high-fived for it. But the WAY in which he achieves his mediocre results is the reason why Giants fans feel entitled to a certain amount of vitriol. The unbelievably imprudent lapses in command and concentration, the constantly shifting tea-leaf public self-reflection…Zito can be incredibly frustrating simply on his own merits, without taking into account the $126 million.

    I’m glad FG did a ‘leave Lackey alone’ piece the other day, and I’m glad that there is such a strong sense of fairness towards Zito as well. But I think this chatter of Zito “pilloried by morons” is more than a little over the top.

    Comment by Graham — May 16, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  16. Kyle Davies: the fifth-best option for a fifth-starter.

    Comment by Graham — May 16, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

  17. So you want to be professional athlete and make lots of money in a media saturated era…

    … this is what you bargained for.

    Comment by Scout Finch — May 16, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  18. “So you want to be professional athlete and make lots of money in a media saturated era…

    … this is what you bargained for.”

    Except Zito isn’t the one complaining, it’s the rest of us who are tired of hearing people rip on another human being because a team gave him a horrific contract.

    If he was eating babies that’d be one thing, or if he was saying he was still incredible against facts that show the opposite that’d be another but all he’s done is not be worth the money he was given, and that’s for many of us that is not worth the derision and snark directed at him and others in his position. Rip the decision makers, not the player.

    Comment by Deelron — May 16, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  19. @Graham, that’s a fairly evenhanded analysis, clearly based on game-observation. As a Jays fan in Toronto, I don’t see the Giants play all that often, so its good to understand where some of the vitriol in this specific case comes from.

    My larger point, however, is that this line of argument is tiresome and unnecessary and adds nothing (or very very little) to the discourse.

    Comment by Big Jgke — May 16, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

  20. The info going around on him before this year was decent stuff, bad control, and the stats back that up. So far this year you can see he has major league stuff, but he’s also had solid control.

    There is precedent for pitchers gaining control later in their careers, but the smart money is still on some regression there. So put him at 7 K/9 3.5 BB/9 40% GB and 8.5% HR/FB, that’s about 4.2-4.4 FIP, which is at least good as Zeets right now.

    Let him pitch!

    Comment by BillWallace — May 16, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  21. “From 2001-2006, he appeared in 103 games for Pittsburgh with **mostly replacement level results**.”

    Seriously?

    You don’t earn the nickname “The White Flag” by posting replacement level results. Vogelsong was especially horrible in 2004 (-1.6 bWAR), where the only starting pitcher worse was Hideo Nomo, who also missed 2 months of the season.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the guy. But let’s not rewrite history here.

    Comment by gonfalon — May 17, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

  22. One of the better baseball stories this year, I think. I’m going to see his next start in person on Friday, but from what I’ve seen so far it looks like he’s been able to spot all his pitches. He’s been the G’s best, most consistent starter since he came up. He thows 4 pitches with movement and now he seems to be able to control them all. Maddux-esqe is probably the best way to put it. There may be some regression in his control or results, but he’s got a long way to go before we consider putting Zito back in the rotation..

    Comment by Fergie348 — June 8, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

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