Oakland Athletics Promote Barry Zito

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Barry Zito is 37 years old, pitching well, and is going to end his career as an official member of the Oakland Athletics. On Wednesday, the Athletics announced that Zito would be accompanying pitcher Cody Martin to the majors in some roster shuffling put in motion by starting pitcher Jesse Chavez’s injury.

Here is what we know as of this writing:

  • Zito will be joining the Athletics in Chicago today.
  • The club is yet to decide when Zito will make his debut.
  • The possibility for a Zito v. Tim Hudson match-up in Oakland remains possible, as Hudson is on track to start against Oakland on Friday, September 25 (get your tickets now).

Zito has far exceeded expectations in Triple-A Nashville this year, having commanded a 3.46 ERA through 138 innings in 22 starts. During this time, he has been an incredible mentor for the young talent in Nashville, and he has embodied everything that describes a classy and selfless team player. This article by Susan Slusser demonstrates just how humbling the minor league experience is for somebody as established as Zito, but it also elaborates on how dedicated he is to baseball and the A’s organization. Zito’s adventures through Triple-A this year show that he has never considered himself to be higher than anybody else on his team, and that he has approached this season with the same work ethic to achieve the same goal as all of the other players that are ten years his junior: To get to the majors.

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Barry Zito means a lot of things to A’s fans. He debuted in 2000 and showed incredible promise at the beginning of what became a storied career. Every A’s fan my age (I’m 26, folks) grew up with Zito and admired him as an invaluable part of the Big Three. A’s fans older than I am will appreciate Zito as a bulwark that made up part of the best Athletics rotation since the 1989 championship club. He dyed his hair blue and played guitar and gave character and life to a team during one of the best times there was to be a fan.

This call-up does not mean that the Athletics have entered circus-act mode. This call-up represents a much deserved reward for one of the most diligent players in the game.

Welcome to Oakland, Barry. You’ve earned it.

Next: Jesse Chavez Should Follow Wade Davis' Example

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