Rob Zastryzny

ROB ZASTRYZNY, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
Born: March 26, 1992
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Left
Drafted: 2nd Round, 41st Overall, 2013 (Cubs)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: University of Missouri
Agent: N/A
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
Zastryzny is a curious case.  The Cubs drafted him in the second round on the basis of a fastball that had some deception and that he located well.  His velocity has never been very good, averaging 88-90 in the majors from 2016-18, then 92 in 2022.  He throws a cutter, curve and change, but none of his secondary pitches has ever been well regarded.  The change is probably the best.  He’s seldom gotten good results; his career ERA is 4.61 in the minors and 4.66 in the majors.  He’s often had reverse platoon splits.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2023.

2013
A-:  0-0-0, 3.14 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 10.0 K/9
A:  1-0-0, 0.93 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 9.2 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 5.6 K/9

Zastryzny had a good debut, mostly as a starter.  Baseball America ranked him 20th in the Cubs’ system after the season.

2014
A+:  4-6-0, 4.66 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 110.0 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 9.0 K/9

Still pitching as a starter Zastryzny got hit around some in the pitching-dominated Florida State League.  Opponents put up a 279/340/449 line against him, all well above the league averages.  He did improve a good deal after a rough time in the first two months.  BA ranked him 14th in the system.

2015
R:  0-0-0, 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 4.0 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
AA:  2-5-0, 6.23 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 60.2 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 7.1 K/9

After missing May and most of June with a broken ankle, Zastryzny struggled in AA.  His control slipped and opponents put up an .896 OPS against him.

2016
AA:  3-2-0, 4.28 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 54.2 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 6.9 K/9
AAA:  7-3-0, 4.33 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 81.0 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 8.6 K/9
MLB:  1-0-0, 1.13 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 16.0 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 9.6 K/9

The Cubs sent Zastryany to AA and he pitched just decently through nine starts.  In late May, they moved him up to AAA.  He mostly struggled there, but had a good run in late July and early August.  The Cubs called him up and he pitched well in middle relief the rest of the season.  BA restored him to the #14 ranking in the system.

2017
R:  0-1-0, 1.04 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 8.2 IP, 1.0 BB/9, 4.2 K/9
AAA:  2-3-1, 5.94 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 47.0 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 8.31 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 7.6 K/9

Zastryzny went back to AAA and pitched in relief until he got called up in early May.  After one appearance, he went out for two months with a back injury.  He returned to AAA in late July, still pitching in relief, and mostly got hit hard, then he returned to Chicago for three rough appearances in September.

2018
AAA:  3-2-0, 3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 56.0 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 8.0 K/9
MLB:  1-0-0, 4.76 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 5.2 IP, 6.4 BB/9, 4.8 K/9

Zastryzny spent most of the season pitching in relief in AAA, getting just a few brief callups.  He mostly pitched well in AAA; one meltdown inflated his ERA, but his control wasn’t good overall.  The Cubs outrighted him at the beginning of September and he became a free agent after the season.

2019
AA:  1-2-0, 0.96 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.6 K/9
AAA:  3-6-0, 6.49 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 94.1 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Zastryzny signed a minor league deal with the Angels at the end of spring training.  He spent most of the season in AAA, mainly as a starter.  He struggled badly, getting sent down to AA for a while in July.  Opponents put up an .851 OPS against him on the season.  Afterward, he became a free agent again and signed with Baltimore.

2020
DNP

Zastryzny never pitched for the Orioles in the pandemic season.  They released him in September.

2021
R:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 1.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 27.0 K/9
AAA:  3-0-2, 3.68 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 29.1 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 12.6 K/9

Zastryzny was out of organized baseball until early May, when he signed a minor league deal with Miami.  He spent the rest of the season pitching in relief in AAA.  He fanned a lot of hitters, but also allowed a lot of baserunners.  In the fall, he signed a minor league deal with the Mets.

2022
AAA (NYM):  1-5-1, 3.61 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 47.1 IP, 3.6 BB/9, 11.2 K/9
AAA (LAA):  0-0-0, 2.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 8.0 IP, 1.1 BB/9, 10.1 K/9
MLB (NYM):  0-0-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 1.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
MLB (LAA):  0-0-0, 6.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9

With the Mets, Zastryzny pitched in relief in AAA until mid-August.  He again pitched just decently, with a lot of strikeouts but also a lot of baserunners.  In August, the Mets called him up, but they designated him for assignment two days later.  The Angels claimed him and he pitched eight times for them in AAA and five times in the majors.  They removed him from the roster after the season and he signed with the Pirates.

Zastryzny figures to be a depth reliever for the Pirates.  There’s not much in his history to suggest much upside.  He probably would be best suited for AA.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2023: Minor League Salary
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $1,100,000
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut: 8/19/2016
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible: 2029
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:  8/19/2016 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 0 (USED:  2017, 2018, 2022)
MLB Service Time: 0.118
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2013: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 41st round, 74th overall pick; signed on June 17.
August 19, 2016: Contract purchased by the Chicago Cubs.
September 1, 2018: Designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs; outrighted to AAA on September 3.
February 25, 2019: Became a free agent.
March 27, 2019: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
November 4, 2019: Became a free agent.
November 26, 2019: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Baltimore Orioles.
September 18, 2020: Released by the Baltimore Orioles.
May 4, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Miami Marlins.
November 10, 2021: Became a free agent.
November 29, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the New York Mets.
August 20, 2022: Called up by the New York Mets.
August 22, 2022: Designated for assignment by the New York Mets.
August 25, 2022: Claimed off waivers from the New York Mets by the Los Angeles Angels.
November 15, 2022: Designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels, became a free agent on November 18.
December 22, 2022: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.