Zito is placed on D.L.; Vogelsong gets call-up
PHOENIX -- Barry Zito is on the disabled list for the first time in his 12-year career, and as a consequence, Ryan Vogelsong is a Giant for the first time in nearly a decade.
With Zito on crutches and his sprained right foot immobilized in a boot, the Giants purchased Vogelsong's contract from Triple-A Fresno. Vogelsong is tentatively scheduled to take Zito's place in the rotation Friday, but his turn could be skipped if he's needed in relief during the three-game series at Coors Field that begins Monday.
An MRI exam confirmed Zito has a midfoot sprain -- a rare and fluke injury that normally afflicts football players and ballet dancers. Zito hurt himself while pushing off to catch a popped-up bunt attempt in the second inning Saturday.
"It's definitely been a blessing to wait till my 12th season to hear those words," Zito said of the D.L. "It's just weird. It's a weird injury. It's weird all around. The car accident (on March 30) was weird."
The injury could be a blessing in disguise, Giants manager Bruce Bochy noted. The Giants weren't hiding their eyes to Zito's 83 mph fastballs in recent weeks.
"Watching him play long toss, his arm is fine," Bochy said. "But there's no question the velocity has been down a little bit. We're very much aware of it. Even before the car accident, it's been down. Some things are hard to explain when there's no injury."
Zito will return to San Francisco to see a podiatrist and get more tests. There is no timetable for his return, although severe sprains can take as long as two months to heal.
The story is much better for Vogelsong, who is on a major league roster for the first time since 2006 and a Giant for the first time since he was traded in a package to Pittsburgh for Jason Schmidt on July 30, 2001. He followed up a strong spring by striking out 17 in 111/3 innings in two starts for Fresno.
"Getting that first call-up is pretty special, but this time it has so much more meaning to it after what I've gone through," said Vogelsong, who pitched in Japan for three seasons.
-- ANDREW BAGGARLY