Number 75 will be back in the green-and-gold for a big league game for the first time since October 2006.
The Oakland A's announced on Wednesday that they had selected the contract of left-hander Barry Zito from Triple-A Nashville. The A's also recalled RHP Cody Martin, who will make the start for Oakland on Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. Martin will take the rotation spot of RHP Jesse Chavez, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a rib fracture.
Zito's role with the A's for the final three weeks of the season isn't yet known. Zito was a starter for Triple-A Nashville throughout the 2015 season, but he missed most of the month of August with left shoulder inflammation. He threw 138 innings for Nashville, posting a 3.46 ERA and striking out 91.
Zito returned to the A's organization for the first time since leaving via free agency after the 2006 season. The left-hander was the A's first-round pick (ninth overall) in 1999. He reached the big leagues midway through the following season and helped the A's reach the post-season in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2006. In 2006, Zito was part of an A's squad that advanced to the American League Championship Series for the first time since 1992. Zito won the Cy Young award with the A's in 2002 and was part of the Oakland team that won 20 consecutive games that year. Zito spent the 2007-2013 seasons with the San Francisco Giants. He had significantly less personal success on the field with the Giants, but he won two World Series rings and was a big part of the Giants' 2012 post-season run.
A's Director of Player Personnel Billy Owens had this to say about Zito in a recent interview with OaklandClubhouse:
"Barry Zito, from the moment he was drafted as the ninth pick in 1999 to whenever his last game is, he is going to have a really successful life after baseball. This guy is a great person. He was a tremendous leader all year. He never complained. He was a mentor. Going back over the years, I remember when he was a free agent after he played his six years and won a Cy Young for us, we’ve had guys become free agents or leave via trades, and probably the saddest one I’ve seen go was Barry Zito. I remember seeing the ticker when he signed with the Giants and you just think back on what kind of person he really is. He never big leagued anybody. He was great in the community.
From the top guy on the roster to the last guy to the coaching staff to the kid in Rookie ball to the major leagues, he treated everybody within the organization the same and with tremendous respect. I can sit here and talk for hours on just what kind of person, leader and tremendous people skills that Barry Zito has. His parents did a great job raising him. Forget about the Cy Young and the success and the big contract and all of the huge accomplishments over the course of his career, Barry Zito the person is better than all of that.
To see how a guy can be so humble who has had so much success on the field was really refreshing. He’s shown that from the day he got drafted to his last outing that he had for us in Omaha. There is no better person that I have met in baseball than Barry Zito. I’m proud that he was a member of the Oakland Athletics."
Martin will be making his second start for the A's. He allowed five runs in three innings in his first start with Oakland against the Angels. Martin had a 4.01 ERA in 94.1 innings in Triple-A this season. He began the year with the Atlanta Braves in their bullpen and spent time in the Triple-A Gwinnett rotation before being traded to the A's in July.
Chavez finishes his season with a 7-15 record and a 4.18 ERA in 157 innings. He struck-out 136 and established a career-high for innings pitched.