After some obstacles, Zack Weiss made the Opening Day roster for the Cincinnati Reds in 2018. In his lone appearance on April 28 against St. Louis, he gave up two home runs, two walks and four earned runs.
In 2016, Zack Weiss was a rising star in the Cincinnati Reds organization.
The 25-year-old right-handed relief pitcher was rated by Baseball America as the 27th-best prospect in the organization in 2016.
Disaster derailed that rise right as the 2013 sixth-round draft pick was getting his shot.
For a pitcher, disaster usually means surgery, and for Weiss, it meant arthroscopic surgery in December 2016 to remove scar tissue from his right elbow.
“It was kind of crummy timing,” Weiss said. “It was my first opportunity in big league camp and it just never really felt right the whole time I was in camp in ’16.
“It was frustrating because of how long it took. We tried like a bunch of different approaches and tried to avoid having surgery which I think is the right move because once you go in there it’s really not quite the exact same. I’m happy to kind of put that behind me and go forth and pitch instead of worrying about a lot of doubts in the back of your head.”
Weiss has put it behind him.
“I think the hardest part was just recovering your arm when you’re in a rehab throwing program,” said Weiss, who played college baseball at UCLA and pitched in the 2013 College World Series. “It’s like, ‘Does it hurt? No. OK, good. Check that box.’ It’s not like you’re building up like you would for a normal season. So there’d be days where I felt really good on a lot of rest, then if I was on short rest I wouldn’t really bounce back like I used to. That was my main focus going into this offseason was getting my arm back into the shape it was in so that you can throw every day as a reliever.”
Four years after his lone appearance for Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Angels made Weiss a September call-up from the minors in 2022.
Zack was a 2015 Southern League All-Star after a season in which his 30 saves were second-most in the minor leagues.