SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Barry Zito began the spring with a new, croucheddelivery. He ended it in full duck-and-cover mode.
And now, with opening day around the corner, the Giants haveasked Zito to hit the reset button. He threw from a more familiar, uprightdelivery during Sundays side session with pitching coach Dave Righetti, Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy said.
Talking to Rags, he was OK, Bochy said. A little moreupright.
Righetti wont be able to supervise Zito on Wednesday, sincethe left-handers start will come in minor league camp. The Giants will sendnon-roster right-hander Yusmeiro Petit in Zitos place to face the As atAT&T Park.
The schedule change was designed to ensure that Zito couldbuild his pitch count something that he couldnt do in his last twoexhibition starts as he got hammered for 10 runs on 16 hits (10 extra-basehits) and five walks in 5 13 innings. Zito retired just 12 of 34 batters overthat span without the assistance of a sacrifice or a tag play on the bases.
With few alternatives, Zito remains scheduled to pitch theGiants fourth game of the season April 9 against the Rockies. Its Coloradoshome opener.
Zito, who is still owed 46 million, attempted to mimic TimLincecums delivery during an offseason working with noted pitching guru TomHouse. But observers both inside and outside the Giants organization tell methat Zito doesnt have the arm speed or athleticism to pull off that delivery.Zitos arm drags behind his body as he plants his front foot, leading tohittable pitches at the belt.
NEW YORK -- Tyson Ross, an All-Star pitcher for San Diego two years ago, was among 35 players who became free agents when their teams declined to offer them 2017 contracts on Friday.
Washington outfielder Ben Revere and Philadelphia outfielder Cody Asche also were cut loose, along with Arizona catcher Welington Castillo and pitcher Rubby De La Rosa; Baltimore pitcher Vance Worley; and Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Louis Coleman.
Milwaukee first baseman Chris Carter and Pittsburgh pitcher Jeff Locke were non-tendered as well; their teams had already designated them for assignment earlier this week.
Teams cut players at the tender deadline to avoid committing to salary arbitration, in which about one-sixth of next season's salary is guaranteed.
Ross, a 29-year-old right-hander, was 13-14 with a 2.81 ERA in 2014 and 10-12 with a 3.26 ERA the following season. He was limited to one major league appearance this year and had surgery in October for thoracic outlet syndrome. Recovery time was expected to be four to six months, and the Padres deemed him too pricy for arbitration after he earned $9,625,000 this year.
Asche, 26, was designated for assignment earlier Friday to clear a roster spot for left-hander David Rollins, claimed off waivers from Texas. Asche hit .240 with 31 homers and 125 RBIs for the Phillies during 371 games in the past four seasons and would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time.
The 28-year-old Revere was acquired from Toronto in January for reliever Drew Storen but strained his right oblique in his first at-bat of the season, left after four innings and went on the disabled list. Revere returned May 6, hit just .217 with two homers and 24 RBIs in 103 games and would have been on track for a raise from his $6.25 million salary.
Castillo batted .264 with 14 homers and 68 RBIs and would have gotten a big raise from his $3.7 million salary.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants tendered contracts to all six arbitration-eligible players on Friday, agreeing to one-year contracts with two of them.
Right-hander Cory Gearrin will get $1.05 million and infielder Ehire Adrianza will receive $600,000, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The Giants will exchange figures with George Kontos, Will Smith, Eduardo Nunez and Conor Gillaspie. They traditionally have avoided going to actual arbitration hearings.
Gearrin, Kontos and Smith will make up a chunk of the bullpen next season, while Nunez is expected to start at third base. Gillaspie, the postseason hero, should see more playing time and Adrianza is currently slated to return in his familiar bench role.
The day was smoother for the Giants than other NL West teams. The Diamondbacks non-tendered Welington Castillo and Rubby De La Rosa and the Padres later sent mini shockwaves through the market by non-tendering former ace Tyson Ross, who is coming off a season lost to injury. Ross was one of six Padres to be let go, a list that included former Giant Hector Sanchez.