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.