MLB notes: Zito makes Giant strides in delivery

first_img Foulke retires: Keith Foulke, attempting to become the Cleveland Indians’ closer, instead decided to retire. By retiring, Foulke passed up $5 million. Foulke, 34, missed twomonths of last season because of tendonitis in his right elbow and soreness in his back. In 2005, injuries to both knees interrupted his season. Acevedo injured: Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jose Acevedo broke four ribs and his collarbone in a motorcycle accident and is expected to miss the entire 2007 season, his Dominican winter league team said. Acevedo was conscious and in intensive care, according to officials. A non-roster invite to Orioles spring training, Acevedo crashed his motorcycle into a car in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Offers on the table: Miguel Cabrera and the Florida Marlins went to an arbitration hearing, with the All-Star third baseman asking for $7.4 million and the team offering $6.7 million. Meanwhile, outfielder Wily Mo Pena and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,875,000 shortly before the scheduled start of their arbitration hearing. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Barry Zito, who the San Francisco Giants made the richest pitcher in major league history this offseason, is undergoing a major overhaul in his delivery. “If Tiger can pull it off, and also have the (guts) to do that, I think anyone can,” the former Pierce College and USC star told the San Jose Mercury News, comparing his adjustments to changes the PGA Tour star made twice to his swing. Zito pitched off a bullpen mound Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz., amazing the Giants’ coaches as he set up a video camera, pulled out a tape measure to calculate his landing spot and then unveiled a new, old-school windup. The Giants watched with understandable wariness, given their $126 million investment in the former Oakland A’s left-hander. center_img Zito, who put on 10 pounds of lower-body muscle this winter, wants to use his legs more in his delivery. He stood in a slight crouch on the rubber with his feet at shoulder-width, bounced twice, then stepped so far backward that he was almost squatting by the time he began to transfer his weight and stride toward the plate. “I’m just taking a step back to create momentum from the beginning of the delivery,” Zito said. Pitching coach Dave Righetti fears Zito’s adjustment will lead to a groin injury, or worse, loss of the effectiveness of his famous curveball. “Most guys won’t really (make major changes) unless they’ve had an injury or they’re getting killed,” Righetti said. “It’s very rare you see this, but he feels pretty strong about it.” The 28-year-old Zito is 41-34 with a 4.05 ERA over the pastthree seasons. He said the changes are similar to the motion he used while pitchig in college. last_img


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