30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly #4: Vin Mazzaro

The Good

Less than two years ago...
Vin Mazzaro was making his MLB debut with the Oakland A's on one of the youngest, most talented pitching staffs in baseball. He sat along side Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, Gio Gonzalez, and Trevor Cahill.

Brett Anderson currently leads the league in starts. Last season, Dallas Braden became threw the 19th perfect game in MLB history.

Mr. Gonzalez is starting off the 2011 season on the right foot with a 4-2 record and a 2.68 ERA (10th in AL). And Trevor Cahill is having a career year. He's 6-1 with an unearthly 1.82 ERA (2nd in AL).

All four of his 2009 teammates are still with the A's, but sadly
Mazzaro was traded last November during the off-season to the Kansas City Royals. I say sadly... because Mazzaro was considered to very talented. He started his career with 2 amazing outings, going 2-0 while giving up 0 earned runs. The future definitely looked bright for Mr. Mazzaro.

The Bad

However... if you follow baseball, then you know the A's lack offensive firepower. And
Mazzaro received very little offensive support and ended his rookie season 4-9 with a 5.32 ERA. Things didn't get much better in his sophomore season and by the end of last year, he had lost his starting job and deemed expendable by the Athletics.

So when the A's had the opportunity to acquire David DeJesus from the Royals for
Mazzaro and minor league pitcher Justin Marks, they jumped all over it.

The Ugly

Then on Monday, Vin
Mazzaro did something that hasn't been done in more than a century. In the top of the third inning against the Cleveland Indians, the Royals made a pitching change and inserted Mazzaro into the game at the top of the 3rd inning.

He started off ... retiring the first three batters he faced. But in the fourth things got ugly. He gave up 10 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Surprisingly, he was left in the game and ended up giving up 3 additional hits and 1 more walk, which led to 4 more runs.

Yep... if you did the math... that's 14 earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched. An accomplishment not achieved in over a century. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time since 1900 that a pitcher has given up 14 or more runs in less than 3 innings pitched. In short... an ugly outing.

To make matters worse...
Mazzaro was sent back down to the minors to play in AAA ball.

On the bright side...
Mazzaro is only 24 years old and hopefully has a brighter future ahead of him... if not, at least he's made his mark in MLB history.


  1. Thanks for giving the A's starting rotation some love, these guys are a joy to watch night in and night out (Gonzalez pitched another gem last night).

    Mazzaro, as I recall, was never considred to be up there with Cahill and Anderson as one of the top tier pitching prospects, so his struggles have not been a massive surprise.

    Great card, though.

  2. Mazzaro was scheduled to start the next night - I had him on my fantasy team - but no longer

  3. Nathan - That's one thing the A's have on a pretty regular basis... solid pitching. I agree Mazzaro wasn't in the Cahill class... but being an A's prospect, there was the hope that he'd be a solid #4 or #5 starter.

    John Bateman - Yeah... smart move to drop him. He'll be back though.