Josh Zeid is currently a pitcher for the Phillies single-A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws. A 10th round draft selection in June 2009, Zeid was a starter for Williamsport of the NY-Pennn League and posted an 8-1 record with a 2.70 ERA there last season. Zeid transferred to Tulane University after his sophomore season at Vanderbilt. After a great start to his 2010 campaign and looking razor sharp in his role as the BlueClaws closer, Zeid has hit a rough patch, forcing manager Mark Parent to explore other options in the closer role.
Josh took some time to chat with PhoulBallz.com, and that interview lies ahead.
You were named the Phillies Minor League pitcher of the month for April when you had a 2-0 record with 2 saves and a 0.00 ERA in 9 appearances. How did that sort of recognition effect your outlook moving forward?
It's a great honor, but the second I got recognized, I didn't stop working out, I didn't skip any beats. I just jumped right into it once again and it went really well. Right now, I'm in a little rut, so I just need to keep working hard to bounce back out there.
What was your draft experience like last year?
It was an honor to get drafted and an honor to play professional baseball. After a couple years of college, I didn't know if professional baseball was the route that I was going to end up doing, but I had a good senior year and it all fell into place. During the draft...I watched it online and hung out with my friends.
What does your pitch repertoire consist of and what are you working on improving?
I throw a fastball, a slider and a split-change, it's called a fosh. With my recent struggles, my slider's not been so good, so that's something that I really have to focus on and improve.
How has the transition from starter to reliever gone? Do you have a preference for either one?
I really enjoy relieving, 'cause you get to come to the field everyday with the possibility of throwing (in a game). But, in those situations you can win or lose a game a lot quicker than if you're starting, so it's a lot to handle, but I really do enjoy it.
How big of a help has pitching coach Steve Schrenk been for you this season?
He's a wealth of knowledge. He's had a long, long career and having him gone (took time off with an illness) for about 8-10 days- that hurt us a little bit, but I'm glad he's back and I'm looking forward to working with him.
Who was your favorite player growing up?
My favorite player of all time was Frank Thomas and I've always been a fan of Sandy Koufax.
What advice would you give to teenage players hoping to play baseball beyond high school, whether it's college or pro?
You have to work hard. And you have success, and times without success, and you've got learn how to come back from not doing well and that is key...how you recover after you fail.
The BlueClaws hosted a celebrity waiter/bartender event to benefit ALS, where the team players and coaches served event goers. Can I get your thoughts on helping such a good cause that is close to the heart of the Phillies organization?
I hope we bring in more money than we ever did before. I think ALS is a great cause. I hope they get all the money they need to find a cure.
Which player in MLB today would you be most willing to pay money to watch?
I would pay to watch David Price any day. I went to Vanderbilt with him, so I'd pay to watch him play any day.
What is your favorite baseball movie?
Field of Dreams. It's a perfect baseball movie.
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