Skip to main content

PN Interview: Off-season check in with RHP Jason Zgardowski

JZ honored
Zgardowski honored prior to Lakewood's last home game, image- Jay Floyd
Righty reliever Jason Zgardowski had a solid season in 2015, a year after he was signed by the Phillies as an undrafted free agent. In 34 games combined at short-season A level Williamsport and Class A Lakewood this season, the 22-year-old sported a 4-1 record with two saves, a 3.12 ERA and a .182 batting average against.

The Texas native was honored by the Phils organization this year, representing Lakewood as the player that best displayed leadership through community service.

This weekend I talked with Jason to learn about how he's spending his off-season and what he is doing to stay in shape during the fall and winter months, balancing fatherhood with being a pro athlete and more. Read ahead for the full interview.

-How much time off do you take from picking up a baseball and what other methods do you use to work out during the off-season?

I like to go at least a month and a half before I pick up a baseball, but to keep my arm in shape during that time I still do bands and arm care programs that our trainers give us before we leave for the off-season.

-What is your routine for knocking the rust off? Where do you throw and who do you throw with?

To knock off the rust I start off at 60 to 90 feet for the first two weeks then start building up. I throw at this place called Hack Shack, which is where I played summer baseball and it's a really nice complex where you get to throw with anyone who's not that busy and living in Texas, you get to throw outside everyday since the low so far this year has been 57 (degrees).

-Is there anything mandated from the Phillies that you have to work on improving this off-season?

The main goal going into this off-season was to get bigger and stronger and just get more consistent on my off-speed. I left Lakewood at 194 (pounds) and today when I checked I was 215 and I'm trying to go into the season about 220 to 225.

JZ & son
Jason Sr. along with Jason Jr., image- Jay Floyd
-What stands out as your top memory from last year, your first full professional season?

Best memory hands down has to be after every game my son came out and watched us play. I got to bring him onto the field and just watch him run around and just take it in because its the best feeling a dad can have! Also, was when I got to catch his first pitch before a game this year as well.

-Is it hard to be a dad during the season and what is that trip home like in September following a long season?

It's hard in a sense that I don't get to see him in person everyday, but during the season I was able to Skype him and see him grow. That people back in the day wouldn't have been able to do, since they didn't have cell phones or computers. The trip back home went by so fast just because I couldn't wait to be back home with family after not seeing them for about seven months.

-What are you doing to keep busy during the off-season? Do you have a job or do you work any sort of clinics or anything like that?

For part time work I'm actually an Uber driver until I go back down to Florida, hopefully in January. Also I'll give out pitching lessons here and there, just to get some extra money for the holidays. But being a Dad is also a job in itself, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

-Any other interesting details about your 2015 or your off-season worth sharing?

During the off-season I was lucky enough to win the community service award that the Philadelphia Phillies have been doing the past four years and got to go to Citizens Bank Park and get introduced on the field and meet some of the guys. I thought I would be nervous meeting some of the guys but I already knew most of them from spring training and having some guys rehab start down in Lakewood for us. So that was a great experience and I was able to share it with my son as well.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Rappers in Phillies Caps

Weekend greetings to you phine pholks out there. Today's post features pictures of rappers wearing Phillies caps. Why rappers in Phillies caps, you ask? Because... Any other questions? We will start things off properly by going with a highly recognizable hip hop star. 50 Cent stays constantly relavant by consistantly creating radio friendly material to help sell (G) units, while he "keeps it real" by still rapping about the thug life he lived before becoming the 2nd highest earning black entertainer in America. 50 is seen here in a recent interview rocking a throw-back Phillies cap. Next up we'll use a throw-back screen cap from what may be the very first major appearance by a rapper wearing Phillies gear. Chuck D, of legendary rap group Public Enemy, wore a Phillies cap in the music video for rap anthem Fight The Power in 1989. The song was the lead single from the soundtrack for Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing . Next up we'll go with some home gro

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'