This week’s pack has a theme running through it, and some observations on a particular subset of our society… Let’s rip this pack open!
Up first is Reds shortstop Zack Cozart. After a disappointing 2014 and missing much of last season to injury, Cozart is off to a good start, batting over .300 with 10 doubles in 28 games.
You’ll find that Cozart is the one exception to a particular trend I’m highlighting today… more on that in a bit.
Zack Greinke surprised many this past winter by signing a big contract with the Diamondbacks. It’s early yet, but neither Greinke nor the D-Backs are where they want to be. I know Dodger fans are inconsolable about those two developments.
I don’t think we should discount the effect of wearing the fugliest uniforms in the Majors.
ZACH Duke… Dammit, I knew I was going to screw up one of these in production; count it as an uncorrected error because I’m not firing the presses back up…. Zach Duke has been around for 12 seasons, was in the top 10 in games played the past two years, and is leading the A.L. with 21 appearances in 2016… that’s over half of the White Sox 37 games to date.
In 2009, Duke rode a hot first half to a spot on the All-Star team, but he didn’t appear in the game.
Zach Britton came up through the Orioles system as a starter, and was a starter his first couple of years with the O’s, but struggled much of the time. He’s been far better as the Orioles’ closer, and made the All-Star team last year.
In his years as a reliever, his ERA has been under 2.00, his WHIP has been under 1.00 and his strikeout/walk ratio has been going up; he’s at 6.00 this year.
Zach Putnam kicked around a couple of years with the Indians, Rockies and Cubs before finding a home in the White Sox bullpen. Putnam was a pitcher and a DH in college, but has yet to get his first MLB plate appearance. Abolish the DH!!!!
His first name is actually Steven, so it feels like he should get an asterisk or something…
Zack Wheeler was the Giants’ 1st pick (6th overall) in the 2009 draft, and was traded to the Mets for Carlos Beltran in a 2011 trade deadline deal. He has been one of the Mets “up and coming young pitchers” for several years now, but he’s been slowed by Tommy John surgery last Spring.
There are damn few cards which show Beltran with the Giants (he signed with the Cardinals after the season). I’m going to have to make sure I’ve got some in my collection…. but this post isn’t about guys named Carlos.
Zach McAllister was originally a Yankees prospect, and was traded to the Indians for the immortal Austin Kearns.
Zach’s father Steve was a minor leaguer in the 1980’s and appeared in a couple of minor league team sets.
Zac Curtis is a rookie who has made it into 6 games this year and put up good numbers. He started the season with the High-A Visalia Rawhide and was promoted straight to the majors after striking out 22 batters in 10.1 innings.
As a short-side-of-average guy who wears glasses, I might have to get on the Zac Curtis bandwagon as he’s 5’9″ and wears glasses. His name is actually “Zac”, it’s not short for Zachary. That might require another asterisk.
Zach Davies was born in Puyallup, WA… One of my favorite city names. He graduated from a high school in Arizona, so I don’t know how long he spent in Puyallup. He came up through the Orioles farm system and was traded to Milwaukee last year for Gerardo Parra. He’s spent most of the time since then with the Brewers, and while his numbers aren’t great this season, he did get a quality start against the Angels two weeks ago.
According to baseball-reference.com, the only other Major Leaguer born in Puyallup was Jim Mosolf, an outfielder who played for the Pirates and Cubs from 1929 to 1933.
Zach Lee has one Major League game under his belt, and he got knocked around by the Mets in a 15-2 loss (4.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 H).
He had been regarded as a Top 100 prospect in the past, and he’s pitching well in AAA this year, so hopefully he’ll get a chance to improve his career numbers.
Although Zack Godley hasn’t pitched in the Majors this year, I had to include him because he ties in to the subject line…
…In fact, if you were to ask me to trade this virtual Godley for 10 CC Sabathia cards, I’d LOL and insist that I wouldn’t trade Godley for 10,000 Angels. (…and that’s all you’re getting on that one. It’s more than enough.)
Getting back to Zack Godley, he was drafted by the Cubs and traded to the Diamondbacks in the trade for Miguel Montero. Godley was impressive in his MLB debut, going 6 shutout innings vs. the Brewers while striking out 7 and walking none.
So, if anyone hadn’t noticed the “sub-trend” in all of these customs, I’ll come out and say it…
WHAT THE HECK IS IT WITH GUYS NAMED ZACK/ZACH/ZAC THAT ALMOST ALL OF THEM ARE PITCHERS?????
Is it one of those things where unseen cosmic forces work to shape boys named Zachary (or other variants) into pitchers?
…And if that’s the case, then where did Zack Cozart go wrong?
…Or maybe they’re all subconsciously inspired by this guy: