Camp Notes: Zito Plays Waiting Game
Zito had to be patient in his second spring start.
Zito had to be patient in his second spring start.
Scout
Posted Mar 10, 2006


It took 58 minutes to play two innings Thursday, and the A's bottom half of the second took so long, starter Barry Zito went into the bullpen and threw about 10 pitches to stay warm.

"You have to get used to (long innings)," Zito said. "I'm glad our offense was doing what they were doing. You encounter most situations in the spring you will in the regular season. This was the day you sit for a while."

Zito felt the swings from some Brewers hitters were an indication his changeup looks like a fastball out of his hands. He also threw some good curveballs and sliders, allowing two runs in three innings in his second spring start.

The A's fielded a team with at least six Opening Day starters, possibly seven, and won their second game of the Cactus League season, 7-3.

Zito grew up in San Diego as a big fan of Tony Gwynn, and he faced Tony Gwynn Jr. in the game. Gwynn tripled and scored in the third inning off Zito.

"I wasn't sure if it was his kid, but apparently it is," Zito said.

"That's the cool thing about the major leagues. You can pitch to your hero's kid or pitch to your own hero or your idols' sons. Tony is younger than I thought. He's already got a kid knocking on the door to the majors."

Tony Jr. hit .271 with one home run, 21 doubles and 34 steals at Double-A Huntsville last year. He already has two home runs this spring.

Injury Update

--SS Bobby Crosby (shoulder tendinitis) threw to first base while taking grounders Thursday and is scheduled to play in the field for the first time Saturday.

--RHP Rich Harden, finally able to eat after getting food poisoning, was extra smiley after Canada's win over the United States on Wednesday in the World Baseball Classic. Harden makes his Cactus League debut Friday in Surprise, Ariz.

--3B Eric Chavez and the medical staff told manager Ken Macha they have "total confidence" Chavez's right shoulder will be fine this year. Chavez elected to not have surgery in the offseason, deciding instead to rehab the shoulder and reduce his throwing before games. Chavez made two throws from deep at third with no problem Thursday, but he committed his third error of the spring by misplaying a grounder.

--RHP Justin Duchscherer made his spring debut and essentially retired all four batters he faced. Duchscherer induced three grounders (one resulted in an error behind him) and struck out one, reporting no pain afterward. Duchscherer had been feeling behind his teammates in terms of preparation, but now he feels he's back on schedule. He hopes to build his pitch count up to go three innings, just in case he's needed for that long in the regular season.



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