Marc Walter Rzepczynski
- Bats Left , Throws Left
- Height 6' 1" , Weight 205 lb.
- School University of California, Riverside
- High School Servite High School
- Debut July 7, 2009
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. he then spent all of 2014 with Cleveland, pitching 73 times in relief with a record of 0-3, 2.74 and 1 save, the first of his career. He struck out 46 batters in 46 innings as he was used in his now familiar role as a lefty specialist. In 2015, he went 2-3, 4.43 in 45 games for the Indians, logging only 20 1/3 innings as his role became ever more specialized. On July 31st, he was traded to the San Diego Padres in return for OF Abraham Almonte. He pitched 27 times for San Diego, but his ERA rose to 7.36, the result of allowing 14 runs (12 earned) in 14 2/3 innings. On December 2nd, he was traded again, this time to the Oakland Athletics alongside 1B Yonder Alonso in return for Ps Drew Pomeranz and Jose Torres and a player to be named (Jabari Blash).
Rzepczynski again split his season between two teams in 2016. With Oakland, he pitched 56 times with a record of 1-0 and an ERA of 3.00. On August 25th, he was traded to the Washington Nationals for minor leaguer Max Schrock, where he put up an ERA of 1.54 in 14 games. Altogether, his ERA was 2.64 in 47 2/3 innings, during which he struck out 46 batters but also walked 29. He was charged with a loss in Game 5 of the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 13th. He replaced Max Scherzer in the top of the 7th after he had given up a game-tying homer to Joc Pederson and walked the only batter he faced, Yasmani Grandal and was immediately replaced by Blake Treinen. Grandal would eventually come around to score the winning run, saddling Marc with the loss as Washington was eliminated. He had previously pitched twice in the series, giving up no runs in 2 innings, although he had walked 3 batters. He was a free agent after the season and on December 3rd signed a two-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.
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.
- MLB.com article on his debut
- Google cache of the New Hampshire Union-Leader article about his days in the Minors
- His player file in Minor League Baseball
- MLB.com article on his debut in the Majors
- Pre-game interview on July 12, 2009 on the FAN 590 radio program.