He also seemed to have a good-looking curve and a hard fastball, though I can’t say I know much about him. According to the stats, Zagurski spent all of spring training in the minor league camp, and after pitching part of 2005 for Batavia as a starter, all of 2006 for Lakewood, the first part of 2007 at Clearwater and six games for Reading, Zagurski found himself on the mound at Turner Field last night.
According to baseball people, Zagurski blossomed when he was converted from a starter to a reliever in 2006. That’s when his rather pedestrian fastball jumped to a stead 93 mph and the strikeouts piled up. In 16 1/3 innings for Clearwater, Zagurski had 30 strikeouts and added eight more in seven innings for Reading. All of that goes with a combined 1.16 ERA this season.
Either way, Zagurski has had an Apa Sherpa-like ascent.
So if you’re putting it all together, Zagurski – a prospect seemingly unworthy of an entry in the Baseball Prospectus annual – has pitched just six games and seven innings above Single-A ball and none in Triple-A. That, of course, is not counting his first Major League inning.
If you’re counting – and I know you are – four different players (all pitchers) have made their Major League debuts for the Phillies this season. Along with Zagurski, Joe Bisenius, Zack Segovia and Yoel Hernandez entered the record books this season. Better yet, the quartet has allowed six runs in 11 1/3 innings. Five of those runs came when Segovia allowed five during a five-inning start against the Marlins on April 8.
Zagurski should be with the club next weekend when Barry Bonds, James Earl Jones and Danny DeVito all turn up at the Bank. Bonds will be in town for the weekend series with the San Francisco Giants, which certainly will give the hometown fans someone to boo in addition to Rod Barajas.
Jones, according to the Phillies, will be at the ballpark on June 1 to participate in a special on-field reading of “Casey at the Bat” with the Phanatic before the game. Meanwhile, DeVito, known in these parts as the infamous Louie DePalma, will join “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” cast mate Rob McElhenney to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Sunday.
I’m told “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is a television show and not some odd phenomenon.