Barry Zito will rise to the talent we’ve always assumed he had this season, but were too disappointed and impatient to see come to fruition. And with good reason.
This is his year, and it started with solid spring preparation, according to the former Cy Younger.
The lefty who is best known for his exhorbitant contract ($126 million), has a chance, as all first day starts provide, to set the tone for 2010 season. Skipper Bruce Bochey even has enough faith in him to label him the No. 2 starter behind reigning Cy Young award winner Tim “The Freak” Lincecum. This after falling far enough to be the No. 4 pitcher last season, getting tossed down to Triple-A ball, and languishing in the bowels of fan hatred.
I’ve chronicled and critiqued Zito’s dips with the best of them. I’ve also praised him — every so slightly — as he’s turned his game around, found his swagger and resurged from the “Dead to me List.” (OK, so he’s not really off the list yet. But I’m thinking about it. That counts for something, right?) So you can imagine that I’m hoping for the best 2010 possible.
Zito told San Francisco Chronicle Giants beat reporter Henry Schulman this year will be dramatically different for him.
“I’ve just really made some good adjustments in my game,” he said. “I’ve got an appetite right now for success. For whatever reason, I’ve had to build that appetite back up. I think they say a lion can’t really hunt on a full stomach. I want to prove a lot of things this year.”
Read: I’ve got motivation.
That’s a key ingredient for comeback player of the year. If only they could give the award to somebody who hasn’t been injured.
I’m absolutely thrilled that the San Francisco Giants won their season opener against the Houston Astros. (Take that Brian Hamilton!) It was a good start for Lincecum, who had seven K’s to record the victory. Back to Cy Young form? Not quite there, but pretty close. Either way, life is blissful in black and orange right now. Waiting on Zito to keep the good vibes rolling.