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Suppan could take Zito's job

All is not milk and honey for the defending World Series champion Giants.

According to report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the club is so irrirated with the inconsistency and lack of success on the part of mega contract pitcher Barry Zito that two-time former Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan will be given every chance to take his job.

Zito walked five of the 13 batters he made in his spring debut. It was so bad that the club is said to be seriously considering a buyout of the $43 milion left on his contract. Suppan, who pitched three scoreless innings against the club that released him last season -- Milwaukee -- seemed like a long shot to even make the Giants roster as a reliever when he was inked to a minor league deal.

But, despite Suppan's rapidly declining performance over the last three seasons, he now seems to be the favorite to send Zito packing.

It would be especially ironic if Zito, who would certainly make it through waivers if he was released, became available and the Cardinals picked him up, effectively creating a trade of Suppan for Zito.

Zito, since he signed his $126-million deal with the Giants before the 2007 season, is 40-57 with a 4.45 ERA. But he was never a hard thrower and he is only 32 years old. So it stands to reason that his troubles are mechanical not physical. Wouldn't it makes sense to team him up with Dave Duncan, the best pitching coach in Baseball?

Duncan turned Suppan, who was 2-4 with a 7.84 ERA before he was released by Milwaukee, into a 3.84 ERA pitcher with the Cardinals. And Duncan had little more left than an 87 MPH fastball and guts to work with.

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