Josh Zeid‘s impressive World Baseball Classic performance earned him a job in the Cardinals organization.
There are certain individuals across the baseball universe who aren’t fans of the World Baseball Classic. After his standout performance in the international event earned him a contract with an MLB franchise, however, reliever Josh Zeid is certainly not one of those individuals. After being left without a job going into spring training this year, Zeid announced on Twitter Tuesday that he’s signed a minor-league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 29-year-old righthander, whose fastball touches 97 MPH, had four scoreless appearances (including one start) for Team Israel in the WBC earlier this month. Over 10 innings, Zeid allowed five hits and six walks while striking out 10 and collecting two saves, including one in Israel’s impressive extra-innings upset of Team Korea in the Classic’s opening contest.
Zeid was in the majors for large chunks of the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Houston Astros.
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He had a solid rookie campaign, posting a 3.90 ERA (and a more impressive 105 ERA+, meaning he was a slightly above-average contributor) with a 1.37 WHIP over 25 appearances. He endured major struggles in 2014, though, posting a 6.97 ERA with a 1.79 WHIP in 23 appearances. He was held back that season, however, by a painful foot condition called sesamoiditis, which caused inflammation in both of his feet.
He’s since pitched in the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets organizations while also playing for the independent New Britain Bees, but he didn’t have much success at all during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Because of the Cardinals’ relative lack of righthanded bullpen depth, Zeid has a very good shot of earning a promotion later in the season if he can impress in the minors. Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivailala, and John Gant are all pushing for big-league roster spots, but beyond that trio, the Cardinals don’t really have any pitchers in the organization with major-league relief experience who can definitely be counted on to help out if a righty in the bullpen goes down.