DURHAM, NC – Clay Zavada (pictured) has only been pitching in the American Association for about a month and a half, but his six wins 1.65 ERA have given him a reputation as one of the league’s most dominant relievers. Fortunately, the league’s hitters will no longer have to deal with facing the RailCats’ ace lefty. Zavada became a member of the Padres’ organization yesterday, when San Diego purchased his contract from Gary SouthShore.
Zavada began his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006. Arizona drafted the left-hander in the 30th round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. From there, Zavada pitched for two seasons in the minors (he did not pitch in 2007) before earning his first major league call-up in 2009. Zavada appeared in 49 games for the D-Backs that year, going 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA.
The left-hander spent the following year in Triple-A Reno, then went to Double-A Mobile in 2011. In 2012, Zavada changed organizations, moving to the St. Louis Cardinals. He made nine appearances for Triple-A Memphis that season before heading to the American Association’s Gary SouthShore RailCats this year.
Despite coming out of the bullpen for Gary SouthShore, Zavada is tied with five other pitchers for the American Association lead in victories. He has also posted 18 strikeouts with the RailCats, for an average of 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (SO/9). In addition, Zavada never gave up an American Association home run in 16.1 innings. Now, Zavada will test himself against Double-A hitters in the Texas League. The Padres are expected to send the 29-year old left-hander to pitch for the San Antonio Missions.
Photo courtesy of the Gary SouthShore RailCats