Competition is a good thing. In fact, it is a necessity. And last season, there was none of it in the Houston Astros’ bullpen.
It was a good thing for young pitchers like Josh Zeid who got an opportunity to pitch at the major league level that otherwise they might not have had. But as the Astros look to move forward with their success and grow as an organization, relievers, and players in general, are going to have to earn their roles.
At the end of last season, Zeid’s role in the bullpen for 2014 appeared to be secure. In 25 games, the right-hander had success at times recording a 3.90 ERA and 1.37 WHIP while striking out 24 batters in 27.2 innings. Zeid was 0-1 and also had one save.
The 26-year old was a 10th round draft choice of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009 and came to the Astros two years later as part of the Hunter Pence deal.
Zeid spent 2012 in AA and struggled as he had a 5.59 ERA in 47 games. He rebounded last season in AAA Oklahoma City prior to being promoted as Zeid pitched in 43 games and had a 3.50 ERA. The problem again though, was his 1.44 WHIP as Zeid has had issues with allowing too many base runners.
Now with all of the additions to the Astros bullpen, and hopefully there are more to come, Zeid’s role is now up in the air to start 2014. At some point, I think we will see him in Houston, and perhaps some more time in the minor leagues would not be a bad thing. But after closing out last year with the Astros, Zeid would be well within his rights to expect to make the team for Opening Day. So after seeing Jeff Luhnow add competition, one could think that the reliever would have a negative attitude. We certainly know that Lucas Harrell did last season.
However, Zeid appears to have the right idea and attitude with regards to his preparation for 2014. And that needs to be commended and recognized.
— Josh Zeid (@Josh_Zeid14) December 18, 2013
— Josh Zeid (@Josh_Zeid14) December 26, 2013