Coming into the 2019 season, it looked like left-handed reliever Zach Warren might move up to AA quickly this season. However, he has had his “ups” and “downs” on the mound in High A with the Clearwater Threshers this season. Plus, he has spent some time on the Injured List.
The main problem has been his command. Last season with the Lakewood BlueClaws, he walked 28 and struck out 100 in 56.2 innings of relief. The season in 21 innings he has walked 18 and struck out 38. His strikeouts are at about the same ratio per innings pitched as 2018 but not his walks. He has walked an average of 7.7 per nine in the first two months of the FSL season. He ERA has risen from .191 last season to 4.71 this season. That won’t get it done!
Can Warren turn his season around and get to AA before the 2019 season ends? That’s his challenge!
The Threshers are coming back off a long road trip. Warren showed signs of coming back at the end of the trip to his 2018 standards where he was 15 for 16 in save opportunities in the Sally League. Now, that closer Jonathan Hennigan has moved on up to Reading after going 7 for 7 in save opportunities for Clearwater, Warren has a chance to build on his 2 saves in 3 opportunities this season.
In his last two relief appearances on the road trip, Warren pitched three shutout innings, allowing only one hit, no walks, while striking out six. He threw 38 pitches, 29 for strikes. Those numbers will get him the call to AA quickly, if he can maintain them.