Participating in the event for the first time in its history, Team Israel exceeded many expectations when they won their first four games in the World Baseball Classic.
Zeid greatly contributed to the expectation exceeding.
In ten innings for Israel, Zeid was spotless, allowing zero runs. Zeid surrendered just five hits in the span and whiffed ten batters. Zeid’s impressiveness on the mound earned him recognition on the All-World Baseball Classic Team, joining fellow Classic standouts Yadier Molina, Christian Yelich, and several others.
Zeid was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009 and has spent time with a few other organizations: the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, and New York Mets. Zeid reached the majors with the Astros four years ago and appeared in a combined 48 games between the 2013 and 2014 seasons, posting a 42:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 48 1⁄3 innings.
Other than those two years in Houston, Zeid has very much been a journeyman. From the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in ‘09 to the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s just last summer, the 30-year-old Zeid has logged nearly 550 innings in his time in the minors.
Zeid has appeared in 258 total Minor League games with only 58 starts, including fifteen in sixteen appearances in 2016. With the Cardinals being in a delicate situation on the pitching front, Zeid could potentially contribute to the club from either way - as a starter or reliever.
The Cardinals are entering the season with Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Mike Leake, Lance Lynn, and Michael Wacha in the starting rotation. Lynn will be pitching on a big-league mound for the first time since October 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Wacha has the stress injury in his scapula lingering. Outside of Viva El Birdos second-rated prospect Luke Weaver, the club’s immediate rotation depth has some weaknesses.
Weaver will begin the year at Memphis along with Mike Mayers and John Gant, who we checked in on earlier this spring. Beyond that trio, Tyler Lyons is on the mend after a November knee surgery, and Marco Gonzales had Tommy John surgery early last season. Despite having little experience in the majors, Zeid serves as a solid piece of depth.
Zeid appears excited to join his new team: