T.J. Zeuch earned his first major league win for the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
With very few bright spots in the pitching department, it’s nice to see a young prospect dealing for the club and that’s exactly what rookie right-hander, T.J. Zeuch did Sunday.
Zeuch was tasked with the toughest test of his young career, a “start” against an ever so deadly New York Yankees lineup.
More from Tip of the Tower
- Cam Phillips making his mark on Toronto Argonauts offence
- Toronto Argonauts: 4 storylines ahead of matchup against Redblacks
- Federico Bernardeschi ready for new challenge with Toronto FC
- Toronto Argonauts overcome Roughriders in entertaining Touchdown Atlantic
- Buffalo Bills: Von Miller drawing inspiration from Bruce Smith
Now, I put start in quotations because he actually didn’t start. He was the follower behind the opener, Wilmer Font. Nonetheless, Zeuch did most of the work tossing 5 1/3 innings.
Allowing just five hits over his time on the mound, Zeuch diced against the Yankees, striking out one of baseball best hitters, Aaron Judge. Zeuch didn’t just strike him out, he made Judge look silly as he swung at a pitch inside, one that was not even close to being in the zone.
The big righty posted five strikeouts and allowed only two earned runs as he picked up his first big league win, coming out of the game in the seventh inning, yielding things to Sam Gavilgio in the eighth before, Ken Giles came to close things out.
As I noted earlier, pitching hasn’t been the Blue Jays greatest strength this season, it’s really been their downfall. But to see a young pitcher on the mound dominating a strong lineup, one as potent as the Yankees wield, it gives fans a sense of hope for greater things to come.
I’m not saying Zeuch is the next ace for this club, I am simply noting it’s nice to see good pitching from the Blue Jays prospect pool.
Drafted in the first round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft, Zeuch has spent most of his time at AAA Buffalo this season, opening up the eyes of Blue Jays management as he threw a no-hitter against the Rochester Red Wings, which eventually led to his call-up to the majors.
With a mid-90’s fastball, it’s safe to say Zeuch doesn’t have the most dominating stuff, but his curveball is something that may help him transition into a fourth or fifth starter.
At just 24-years-old, the Mason, Ohio native has a lengthy amount of time to showcase his worth to the club, but on a roster that wants to contend in two to three years, he may need to figure himself out soon.
His start on Sunday proves he has what it takes to be on the 25-man roster come next season, but the question lies, one that comes with many young players. Can he do it on a consistent basis?
That is a question Zeuch will need to answer himself as things begin to dwindle down for this 2019 season.