Joshua Alexander Zeid
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 210 lb.
- School Vanderbilt University, Tulane University
- High School Hamden Hall Country Day School
- Debut July 30, 2013
Pitcher Josh Zeid made his major league debut in 2013.
Zeid was named the Gatorade Connecticut High School Player of the Year as a senior. He set a school record with over 400 career strikeouts. In the 2003 World Youth Championship, he struck out 9 in 6 innings and was 2 for 5 with a double and 5 RBI as the US won the Gold Medal. He was 0-1 with a 5.24 ERA as a freshman at Vanderbilt in 2006. In 2007, he allowed ten runs and ten hits in 4 1/3 IP. He only made five appearances on a loaded staff that featured three first-round top-10 picks (David Price, Casey Weathers and Mike Minor). He got to pitch in the Cape Cod League for the 2007 Harwich Mariners and had a 0-2, 4.12 record. Transferring to Tulane, he was 0-1 with a 5.62 ERA in 2008. As a senior, he improved to 6-0, 4.01.
He was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the tenth round of the 2009 amateur draft. The scout was Mike Stauffer. He made his pro debut that summer with the Williamsport Crosscutters, going 8-5 with a 2.94 ERA. He tied for second in wins (one behind Mark Cohoon) and was 7th with 72 strikeouts (to only 20 walks). He was very effective with the 2010 Lakewood BlueClaws, going 9-4 with 8 saves, a 2.93 ERA and 111 K to 27 BB in 107 1/3 innings. He began 2011 with the Reading Phillies but ran into his first struggles as a pro (2-3, 2 Sv, 5.65, 1.41 WHIP).
He was then traded to the Houston Astros with prospects Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton as well as a player to be named later (Domingo Santana) for Hunter Pence. After the deal, he made 14 outings for the Corpus Christi Hooks, but was ineffective (0-1, 10.12, 21 R in 16 IP). Back with the Hooks in 2012, he was not able to get back on track, going 2-0 with a save and a 5.59 ERA in 47 games. The lone positive was 66 strikeouts in 56 1/3 IP.
Zeid played for the Israeli national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Jupiter, FL. He and David Kopp were the only pitchers to appear in all three games for Israel. In their opener, he relieved Brett Lorin in the 6th with a 1-0 lead, two men in scoring position and two outs. He pulled out a hold, getting Jonathan Phillips and Brett Willemburg to end that threat. In the 7th, he retired Kyle Botha, Karl Weitz and Alessio Angelucci in order. He was replaced by Kopp in the 8th.
He saved Israel's win over Spain in his team's second game on September 21, 2012, relieving Richard Bleier in the 9th with a 4-1 lead. He allowed a leadoff double to Adrian Nieto then got both Daniel Martinez and Yasser Gómez to ground out, scoring Nieto. Pinch-hitter Blake Ochoa grounded out to end the game. Zeid was the loser in extra innings, though, when Israel met the Spaniards again in the group finals two days later. He entered in the 9th with a 7-7 tie, replacing Kopp, and went 1-2-3 against Gabe Suarez, Gómez and Jesús Golindano. In the 10th, he walked Engel Beltre and hit Paco Figueroa. Rafael Alvarez bunted both men over and Bárbaro Cañizares grounded out. Almost out of the inning, Zeid blew it when he gave up a two-run single to Yunesky Sanchez before retiring Nieto. Israel failed to score in the bottom of the 10th off Iván Granados to lose.
Zeid began the 2013 season with the Oklahoma City RedHawks, going 4-1 with 13 saves, a 3.50 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 43 2/3 IP while walking 27. He was called to the majors with Chia-Jen Lo when Hector Ambriz was sent down and Jose Veras traded.
In his big league debut with the Astros on July 30, 2013, Zeid relieved Wesley Wright with one out in the bottom of the 8th and a 4-3 deficit against the Baltimore Orioles. He retired Adam Jones, walked Chris Davis on a full count and got Matt Wieters on a long fly. He was 0-1 with a 3.90 ERA in 25 games for the 2013 Astros. He split 2014 between the Astros (6.97 ERA in 23 G) and Oklahoma City (2-2, 7 Sv, 2.45 in 17 G).
Back on the farm
Waived by Houston, he was claimed by the Detroit Tigers. He spent all of 2015 with the AAA Toledo Mud Hens, going 4-3 with two saves and a 4.46 ERA in 42 games. He was 4th in the Tigers chain in pitching appearances. In 2016, he began with the independent New Britain Bees (2-3, 5.06 in 8 G, 43 K in 37 1/3 IP0 then was signed by the New York Mets. He posted a 4-4, 3.98 record for the Binghamton Mets and 3-2, 5.54 in 7 starts for the Las Vegas 51s.
Back with Israel for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he was one of only two returning pitchers from the qualifiers four years prior (Shlomo Lipetz was the other). In the opener, he relieved fellow former major leaguer Jason Marquis with a 1-1 tie in the 4th against Great Britain. He threw three shutout innings but ran into trouble in the 7th as Champ Stuart doubled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a one-out sacrifice fly by Todd Isaacs. Another former big leaguer, Craig Breslow, relieved, and Israel rallied for a 5-2 win. In the finale, also against Great Britain, Zeid again relieved Marquis. This time, it was in the 5th with a scoreless game and a perfect game in progress. He threw two more perfect frames while Israel took a 5-0 lead then walked Jasrado Chisholm with one out in the 7th to end the perfecto. He was relieved in the 8th by Jeremy Bleich with the no-hitter still in progress and a 6-0 lead; Israel lost the no-no but won 9-1 to get a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Zeid getting the victory in the finale as they made their first World Baseball Classic. For all the qualifiers, he tied Alex Sogard for third with 6 2/3 IP (behind only Dylan Unsworth and Marquis), led in strikeouts (9, one ahead of André Rienzo, Karl Triana and Berman Espinosa) and was 8th with a .45 WHIP.