Former GM Steve Phillips jumped on the Zito pile-on today with these comments on an espn.com chat:Barry started showing signs of weakness in 2004. Left handed hitters dominated him during the season. His velocity has dropped off some and he has difficulty throwing the curve for a strike. Hitters have realized they should take the curve and sit on a mediocre fastball. Zito has become very hittable and very ordinary.
Ouch. A bit too harsh, maybe.
Z needs to buckle down and get guys out. He needs to be better mentally, he's not done physically. I will admit that I'm not comfortable with where he's at right now, and agree that his fastball needs to improve to the point that it can fool hitters.
Phillips also offered the unsurprising opinion that Dotel is here to stay at least until Street has proven he is ready to be big-time in the majors:Dotel, I don't expect to be traded until they establish Huston Street can thrive at the major league level. The A's have great depth in the bullpen and if they are in the race, Dotel could be a significant chip. I just don't think any trade would happen until much later.