SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants are in a place and time where they should be going young.
But handing the ball to veteran left-hander Barry Zito just feels like the right thing to do, manager Bruce Bochy said.
Zito, not Mike Kickham, will replace Chad Gaudin in the rotation and start Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox. Although the Giants have nothing more to learn from watching Zito, who is likely entering the final five weeks of his seven-year stint with them, the manager said that some moves have to be made out of respect.
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“More than anything it’s to give Barry another chance,” Bochy said of Zito, who went to the bullpen when Ryan Vogelsong was activated from the disabled list Aug. 9. “I think he’s earned this. I’ll start with that. He’s a guy who has done a lot for us.
“It’s been an up and down year. But the stuff coming out of the ‘pen has gotten better, and he’s waited his turn. So he gets to go first.”
Gaudin, who was placed on the disabled list with carpal tunnel syndrome, expects to improve with two weeks of rest and anti-inflammatory medication. He told reporters he expects to pitch again this season.
But Bochy would like nothing better than for Zito to hold his spot the rest of the season.
“My hope is he goes out there and throws great and stays in the rotation,” Bochy said. “That’s where he’s the most valuable.”
As for Gaudin, Bochy said the right-hander didn’t try to hide his injury from the training staff. He described it as more of a weakness in his hand that’s been present for the past couple weeks.
“If we wanted to push it, we still could,” Bochy said. “Where we are, it makes sense to let it calm down.”
Kickham, who has a 1.32 ERA over his last four starts for Fresno, will be used in long relief for now.