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Marc Rzepczynski

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Marc Walter Rzepczynski
(Zep, Scrabble)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 5th round of the 2007 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Demerius Pittman for $110,000 and made his por debut that summer.

Rzepczynski was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on July 7, 2009 to make his Big League debut as the Toronto Blue Jays faced the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. In his debut, he gave six innings of two-hit ball, while allowing one run and striking out seven batters, walking four. Rzepczynski was the fifth pitcher to make his debut in the majors in 2009 with the Blue Jays; his turn came after Scott Richmond was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and his replacement Bradley Mills complained of bruised ribs after a game in Vegas on the prior Thursday. Overall, he made 11 starts that year for Toronto, going 2-4 with a solid 3.67 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 61.1 innings.

A 5th round pick in the 2007 First Year Player Draft by the Jays, Rzepczynski made 16 minor league starts in the 2009 season before his call-up, split between AA New Hampshire and Las Vegas; he was 9-5 with a 2.66 ERA, getting 104 strikeouts against 40 walks in 88 innings. After being promoted to AAA, he went 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA.

For 2007, he played with Class A Short-Season Auburn of the New York-Penn League, posting a 5-0 record in 11 appearances (with seven starts) and he had a 2.76 ERA. Rzepczynski struck out 49 batters and walked 17 in 45 2/3 innings. That season he kept opposing New York-Penn League batters to a .201 average. In 2008, he made 22 starts for Class A Lansing, going 7-6 over 121 innings with a 2.83 ERA. He also struck out 124 batters and walked 42. In two starts (May 24 and May 30, 2008), he pitched 10 straight scoreless innings. His ERA that season was the third best in the Blue Jays organization.

Rzepczynski was injured during spring training of 2010 when he took a ball off his shin, costing him a chance to be a part of the Jays' starting rotation. He came back to the big club in August and pitched a few good games, going 4-4, 4.95 in 14 games, but team management decided he would be more useful as a reliever. He started 2011 as the Jays' top lefthanded reliever and did quite well in the new role. He was 2-3, 2.97 in 39.1 innings over 43 appearances when the Jays traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 27th as part of an 8-player deal whose marquee names were P Edwin Jackson and OF Colby Rasmus. He went 0-3, 3.97 pitching for the Cardinals down the stretch, but was an important part of the Cards' bullpen in the post-season, as his presence helped manager Tony LaRussa to play the match-up game by alternating right-handed and left-handed relievers in the late innings. He thus pitched 12 times in the three rounds of the postseason, most of them in tight situations. he was credited with a win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2011 NLCS and did not give up a run in four appearances in the 2011 World Series as the Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers in 7 games. He then was 1-3, 4.24 in 70 appearances for the Cardinals in 2012, then made another five appearances in the postseason.

Rzepczynski started the 2013 season poorly, with a 7.88 ERA in 9 April appearances, earning a ticket back to AAA. He made 32 appearances for the Memphis Redbirds, going 1-2, 3.07 in 44 innings and came back to the Cards in late July, pitching twice more before being traded to the Cleveland Indians on July 30th. He turned things around completely with the Indians, giving up only 2 earned runs in 27 games for an ERA of 0.89.

[edit] Name

The "R" in his last name is silent and it is pronounced "Zepchinski". He is of Polish descent. His nickname is "Zep", which he picked up during high school as the other students found his last name hard to pronounce.

Marc is the first major league player to have a surname that starts with the letters "Rz". There have been five minor league players with "Rz" last names including a Walter Rzepczynski who pitched in the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox organizations in 1948.

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