Former Pitt standout and first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, T.J. Zeuch was traded to St. Louis for cash considerations on Sunday afternoon. Upon joining the Cardinals organization, Zeuch will be optioned to Triple A Memphis, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
T. J. Zeuch has been acquired in exchange for cash considerations from the #Cardinals, per source. Will be optioned to Class AAA Memphis, joining the pitching staff there. Team will announce later today, likely. @ByRobertMurray first reported the acquisition. #BlueJays
— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) July 25, 2021
Zeuch, who had been designated for assignment by the Blue Jays just five days ago, was never able to secure a regular spot on the Blue Jays’ Major League roster over his five years in the system. He floated between Triple-A and the big leagues for three seasons after making his debut in the majors.
As the 21st overall pick — one of just two first rounders in Pitt history — Zeuch had high expectations and was living up to them. He was an effective ground ball pitcher in the minors and rose quickly through the minors, making his MLB debut on September 3, 2019 against the Braves. But Zeuch only saw five MLB games in 2019 before spending most of the 2020 season at Toronto’s alternate training site at Frontier field in Rochester, New York.
After making the Opening Day roster in 2021, Zeuch’s performance has been lackluster. He owns a career-high 6.60 ERA, has surrendered six homers in five appearances after giving up just three in the eight career games prior and struck out only eight over 15 innings pitched. Zeuch’s rate of strikeouts has gotten worse in his third year at the MLB level while the rate of walks and home runs have gone up.
Zeuch is one of the better pitchers in Panthers baseball history. He ranks 20th in career ERA and 12th in innings pitched. He also holds the single game Pitt record for strikeouts in a single game with 12 against Duke on May 9, 2016, the same year he earned Second-Team All-ACC honors.