Giants notes: Zito's options, plans for Pill, etc.

Giants notes: Zito's options, plans for Pill, etc.
August 14, 2013, 3:30 pm
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Barry Zito is expected to serve as a relief pitcher and limit the innings for Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

WASHINGTON -- Barry Zito cleared waivers, according to our buddy Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, and in a related note, the sun will set in the West.

That's not to disparage Mr. Heyman's work. It's interesting information, even if it's totally expected and procedural. Of course no club would claim Zito and pay him $5 million or so for the remaining six weeks on his contract. They’d be on the hook for the $7 million buyout on his club option for next season, too. In fact, it's a good bet that the Giants have placed Zito on waivers the last six years, and if anyone had ever claimed him, we'd know about it.

[RELATED: Report: Zito clears waivers, trade unlikely]

The only way this news is of any importance: Zito can be traded to any club, and although the Giants probably would eat his salary to make that happen, there doesn’t appear to be a market for him. For now, the Giants are not talking about going to a six-man rotation. But they do figure to use Zito to hold down innings on a couple other starters -- mostly Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner -- down the stretch.

I don't see the Giants designating Zito for assignment. Not when they've already lasted 6 3/4 years with him on his $126 million contract. Besides, they wouldn't just dump a guy who willed the NLCS back from St. Louis and won Game 1 of the World Series last October.

In a related note, Bruce Bochy said he doesn't envision going to a six-man rotation anytime soon. So Zito remains in long relief limbo. But Bochy and his staff have discussed how to limit innings for other pitchers.

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Brett Pill will start taking fly balls in left field. He almost entered to play left field in a double switch Tuesday night, Bochy said. It’s clear the Giants are almost ready to move past the “Jeff Francoeur vs. left-handers” plan.

“These are things we’re discussing internally,” Bochy said.

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Bochy said Heath Hembree is most definitely in the discussion for a September call-up. He’s converted 14 consecutive save chances for Fresno and has 23 strikeouts with just five walks over his last 19 appearances.

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Marco Scutaro’s back is improved but this is something he’ll be dealing with for the rest of the season. Scutaro told me it’s hard to get his back to calm down with all the hitting, turning and diving. When he can go a couple months without doing that stuff, he can get it and keep it in alignment.

 

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