Barry Zito has a new delivery. Again.

15 Comments

Every year people wonder if Barry Zito is ever going to be a good pitcher again. Not a lot of people. No, those crowds disappeared several years ago.  The number of people still hoping for a Zito turnaround is roughly the same as the number of those Iraq War protesters who still show up on that one corner every Saturday for some reason like it never stopped being 2003.

But for those optimistic and hearty souls, there is news. Barry Zito has a new delivery:

Barry Zito made a slight change to his delivery this winter he hopes will help him rebound from an injury-plagued season.

During the offseason, he worked on bending his front leg to get lower to the ground and speed up the momentum the ball gains traveling to the plate.

That’s great. It’d be even greater if he hadn’t done this before.  Like, say, in 2007, when he also said that the tweak in his delivery was to create more “momentum” in his fastball. Then in 2008 when he changed his arm slot. Then in 2010 when he changed his arm slot again. Then in 2011 when he did it again.

Hey, maybe this time he has figured it out.  I just think it’s way more likely that “he changed his delivery” or “he altered his arm slot” is empty Barry Zito-ese designed to either give fans or himself some sort of hope that something different will happen this year. Finally.

Five minor leaguers suspended for drug violations

Say no to drugs
2 Comments

NEW YORK (AP) Five minor league pitchers have been suspended for drug violations.

The commissioner’s office announced the penalties Tuesday.

Three of the players are part of the Toronto system. Right-hander Juan Jimenez and left-hander Naswell Paulino were each suspended for 72 games, and righty Jol Concepcion was banned for 60 games. Jimenez, Paulino and Concepcion tested for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance.

Jimenez and Paulino are on the roster for the rookie-level Dominican Summer League Blue Jays, and Concepcion is on the roster of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Blue Jays.

Kansas City minor leaguer Travis Eckert and free-agent lefty Kevin Duchene each tested positive for a drug of abuse. Eckert was suspended for 50 games following a second positive test, and Duchene received a 100-game penalty following a third positive test.

Eckert is on the roster for Single-A Lexington of the South Atlantic League.

There have been 79 suspensions under the minor league drug program this year and five under the major league program.