The Oakland Athletics have called up 37-year-old pitcher Barry Zito from Triple A Nashville and placed starting pitcher Jesse Chavez (fractured rib) on the 60-day disabled list, the team announced Wednesday.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Zito will only pitch in relief. However, Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com reports that Oakland will attempt to give Zito a start against the San Francisco Giants and former teammate Tim Hudson. The 40-year-old righty, who played five seasons alongside Zito for the A's in the early 2000s, is scheduled to make a start against Oakland on Sept. 26.
Zito has not pitched in the major leagues since appearing in 30 games for the Giants in 2013. He struggled that season, posting a 5–11 record and 5.74 ERA, after which he announced that he would be taking a break from baseball, but not retiring.
The Athletics signed Zito to a minor-league contract for 2015, with the lefthander pitching to an 8–7 record and 3.46 ERA in 22 starts for the Sounds.
Zito made his major league debut with the Athletics in 2000 and made 222 starts over seven years in Oakland, winning the 2002 Cy Young award and being named to three All-Star teams. He signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with the Giants after the 2006 season—the largest free-agent contract ever given to a pitcher at that time—and helped San Francisco win its second World Series in 2012, but struggled overall, posting a 4.62 ERA across 208 games and 197 starts.
Zito has a career 165–143 record and 4.02 ERA over 14 seasons.
- Alex Nieves