Barry Zito will not be in Giants' rotation for NLDS and could be left off the playoff roster

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Barry Zito was fantastic early on this season, going 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA through six starts, and he had an ERA under 3.50 as recently as mid-August, but the veteran left-hander went 1-8 with a 6.66 ERA in his final 11 starts and now the Giants have decided to bump him from the playoff rotation.
Tim Lincecum will start Game 1, followed by Matt Cain in Game 2 and Jonathan Sanchez in Game 3. Bruce Bochy said today that he’s undecided about who would get the Game 4 call, but the options don’t include Zito. Instead, it’ll either be rookie Madison Bumgarner or Lincecum coming back on short rest.
Normally that would mean a trip to the bullpen for Zito, but with Jeremy Affeldt, Dan Runzler, and Javier Lopez the Giants aren’t exactly short on left-handed relief options. In other words, the $126 million man could be left off the postseason roster entirely for the first round.

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.