Bruce Bochy: “Barry Zito is our fifth starter next year”

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By trading Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals yesterday the Giants opened up a rotation spot and manager Bruce Bochy said that Barry Zito is the man for the job.

During a radio interview with KNBR today Bochy revealed: “I’m not gonna hide from it. Barry Zito is our fifth starter next year.”

Zito started just nine games this year because of injuries and ineffectiveness, and there was speculation throughout the season that the Giants might finally decide to eat his salary and release the veteran left-hander.

However, while Zito was a massive free agent bust and incredibly overpaid he’s also more often than not been a decent back-of-the-rotation starter and there’s no reason to part with that when the Giants are paying him either way. Zito had a 4.03 ERA over 192 innings in 2009 and a 4.15 ERA over 199 innings in 2010, and just about every team in baseball would be thrilled to get that out of their fifth starter.