clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Meet The New Guy: Zack Weiss

Oh, look: another waiver wire reliever.

Who is he and where did he come from?

He’s Zack Weiss, a guy who maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school and then majored in environmental studies and geography at UCLA. That geography major has probably helped him quite a bit over the last ten years, because he’s played for teams all over the country throughout an extensive minor/independent league career. The Red Sox just picked him up off waivers after he was dropped by the Angels.

What position does he play?

Right-handed relief pitcher, the saltine cracker of baseball positions.

Is he any good?

He’s a 31-year-old who’s played for five different Major League organizations, three different independent league teams, and has logged only 20.1 big league innings in his career. So, no, not really. He did once finish second in all of minor league baseball in saves, but that was back in 2015, four organizations and one major elbow injury ago. In fact, after a brief stint with the Minnesota Twins AAA team in 2019, Weiss spent most of the next three years pitching for the Long Island Ducks, Sugar Land Skeeters, and Kansas City Monarchs of the respective Atlantic League, Constellation Energy League, and American Association.

The Angels signed him last season and he showed some promise in a short stint, striking out 18 hitters in just 13.1 innings. But he also struggled with control last year (he walked 7 batters in those 13.1 innings), and was hit very hard in his even briefer cup of coffee this year.

He pitches off his slider, which has been very tough on righties at time (righties hit just .161/.240/.277 off him last year in both the minors and Majors in 2022) and has a decent fastball that sits at 94 MPH. But the consistent results have just never been there for Weiss. His numbers with the Angels AAA team in Salt Lake were downright ugly this year (strikeouts aside): 37.1 IP, 6.03 ERA, 42 hits, 24 walks, 6 homers, and 50 strikeouts.

What’s he doing in his picture up there?

Pitching for Team Israel (he’s a duel-citizen) in the GODDAMN OLYMPICS! That’s a good reminder that, for as much as fans grumble about retreads like Weiss, he’s an elite athlete whose physical gifts and hard work have taken his life in all sorts of cool and interesting directions that the rest of us can only dream about. Keep doing you, Zack.

Show me a cool highlight.

You know what’s cool? Going four full years in between big league appearances and then shutting down the future World Series champions in your first inning back.

What’s his role on the 2023 Red Sox?

It seems like the only reason he’s even on the team right now is because they ended up with an open spot no the 40-man and figured they might as well use it on someone. Honestly, that’s not a bad policy. Weiss’ strikeout numbers are intriguing, and it costs nothing for them to take a look at what he’s got. But don’t get too attached, he’s not likely to hang around for very long.