Zach Stewart

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Zachary Robert Stewart

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Zach Stewart began his college career at Angelo State University and spent one season there before transferring to North Central Texas College. He ended his collegiate career at Texas Tech University and was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the third round of the 2008 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Jerry Flowers and made his pro debut that summer for the Dayton Dragons, allowing just 1 earned run in 11 outings out of the bullpen. He was then promoted to the Sarasota Reds and continued to stifle batters, giving up just 3 earned runs in 13 games. Overall, in his first pro season, he went 1-4 .with a 1.09 ERA in 24 games.

Stewart began 2009 back with Sarasota, going 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA in 7 starts. He then went 3-0 in 7 starts with a 1.46 ERA for the AA Carolina Mudcats before being promoted to the AAA Louisville Bats in late June. After posting 0.73 ERA in 9 relief appearances for the Bats, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Roenicke on July 31st for Scott Rolen. After the deal, he posted a 3.38 ERA in 11 outings for the Las Vegas 51s.

Stewart spent the entire 2010 campaign with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, going 8-3 with a 3.63 ERA and 132 strikeouts in 26 starts. After starting the following season back with New Hampshire, he made his big league debut for the Jays on June 16, 2011, giving up 2 earned runs over 7 innings in a start against the Baltimore Orioles. A little over a month later, on July 27th, he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox along with Jason Frasor for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen. He pitched a tremendous game for the White Sox on September 5th, throwing a complete game one-hitter to defeat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0, in the second game of a doubleheader. The only hit was a leadoff double by Danny Valencia in the 8th inning; he was otherwise perfect and recorded his first career shutout that day. He finished his first major league season with a combined record of 2-6, 5.88 in 13 games, after having gone 5-6, 4.20 in 17 minor league starts.

Stewart opened the 2012 season with the White Sox, pitching out of the bullpen. He did not start a single time in first 17 appearances, going 1-1 with 5.18 ERA in 24 1/3 innings. On June 18th, he started a game against the cross-town Chicago Cubs and was charged with the 12-3 loss after giving up 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings. He did not pitch over the following week and on June 24th, it was announced that he had been traded to the Boston Red Sox, alongside utility player Brent Lillibridge, in return for 3B Kevin Youkilis. On November 28, 2012, the Red Sox shipped him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later.

2012 proved to be Stewart's last year in the major leagues. He continued to play professionally into the 2019 season. From 2013-2018 he played in five different organizations providing AAA depth. Stewart also spent part of 2015 and the 2016 season playing in the Korea Baseball Organization with the NC Dinos. He finished his playing career in 2019, appearing in 5 games for the New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League.

In June 2019 the Toronto Blue Jays hired Stewart and Matt Tracy to pitch to hitters during batting practice on an experimental basis. The Blue Jays were trying to figure out if hitters facing actual pitching would be better prepared to face MLB pitchers than hitting the traditional soft tosses from coaches. Stewart continued with the Blue Jays organization in 2020 in the dual role of minor league assistant coach and batting practice pitcher. He was development coach for the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2021.

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