Tigers claim RP Josh Zeid off waivers from Astros, DFA Ezequiel Carrera
The Tigers claimed reliever Josh Zeid off waivers from the Houston Astros, potentially reuniting him with his former World Baseball Classic manager from Team Israel, current Detroit skipper Brad Ausmus.
I am so excited to begin the next step of my career with the @tigers Thanks @astros fans for all your love and support but let's go tigers!
— Josh Zeid (@Josh_Zeid14) November 20, 2014
At one point last spring, Zeid was even hoping to recruit his one-time manager to join some other Jewish players on a trip to promote baseball in Israel. Ausmus was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
"He's a big figurehead for me and us," Zeid told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart in May.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Tigers designated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment.
At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Zeid is a relatively hard throwing right-hander, who hits the mid-90s with his fastball (94.77 mph, according to PITCHf/x), complementing that pitch with a plus slider.
The 27-year-old pitcher was sidelined partway through his second season in the big leagues with bilateral sesamoiditis, and had to undergo a pair of surgeries six weeks apart, one on each of his feet, to fix what could’ve become a recurring issue.
Zeid had a first surgery on Aug. 6 (right foot), then another on Oct. 6 (left foot), and just got out of a walking boot yesterday.
Included in the trade that sent Hunter Pence from the Astros to the Phillies, Zeid was converted to a reliever in the Houston system, making his debut in 2013 after two seasons at Double-A. He made 48 appearances in two seasons with the Astros, faring far better the first time around, before injuries cropped up last season. After limiting lefties to a .178 average in 2013, they hit .455 off him last season. He also gave up six home runs in a little less than 21 innings of work.