SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Zito pitched himself out of the San Francisco Giants' rotation for the playoffs. As far as making the roster as a reliever, he said he doesn't know where he stands.
Manager Bruce Bochy told Zito on Wednesday he will not start in the best-of-five NL division series against the wild-card Atlanta Braves.
"I just know I'm not pitching, I'm not starting," Zito said after the Giants' workout Wednesday night. "I'm disappointed in myself for not cracking that rotation. Obviously playoffs is why we play this game. It was a team effort to get to this place but we've got to go with the guys now. I feel like I can help this team in the playoffs and I have experience. But I stand behind Boch, he's the skipper. I stand behind his decision."
Bochy is going with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez for the first three games. After that, he will decide between Lincecum and rookie Madison Bumgarner.
While it's disappointing for the left-hander, it's not surprising. Zito (9-14), who signed a $126 million, seven-year contract before the 2007 season, lost to the Padres on Saturday when San Francisco had a chance to clinch the division. The Giants wound up doing it Sunday in their final game. Zito gave up consecutive bases-loaded walks in the first and was booed off the field when done after a season-low three innings.
Now, Zito will turn his attention toward supporting his teammates.
"My heart and soul is in this clubhouse," Zito said. "I have no other options in myself than to pull for every one of these guys."
Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Oakland Athletics, has been largely disappointing since joining the Giants.
He failed to reach 10 wins for the first time since his rookie season in 2000. His 4.15 ERA is the fourth-highest of his career. He went 1-8 with a 6.72 ERA over his last 11 outings and 10 starts and only had one victory in his last 15 appearances. The stretch included a career-worst nine-game losing streak from July 21 to Sept. 14.
Bochy said outfielder Aaron Rowand, who lost his starting job in center to Andres Torres midway through the season, was on the roster. With a $12 million salary this year, Rowand is the second-highest paid Giant behind Zito.
"I don't know anybody who doesn't want to play in the postseason," Rowand said. "I'm glad I'm on the roster and I will try to help out anyway I can. You've just got to be prepared to get up and put together quality at-bats."