Giants have leverage to burn

Updated: March 3, 2011, 9:32 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Barry Zito was reassured by Giants manager Bruce Bochy, writes Andrew Baggarly, in the aftermath of the San Francisco Chronicle report that the Giants could consider dropping him. From the story:

    General manager Brian Sabean rejected the supposition that the team leaked the story to light a fire under Zito, who walked five of the 13 batters he faced in a rough exhibition debut Monday.

    "Absolutely, unequivocally not," Sabean said. "We have too much respect for players, and more so, I have a great relationship with Barry Zito. If things had gotten to that point, I would have talked to him directly, firsthand."

First and foremost: There would have to be an attractive Plan B available before the Giants seriously considered dropping Zito. Maybe that would be Jeff Suppan, or maybe somebody else. Maybe they find somebody more predictable than Zito, somebody who pounds the strike zone.