Probably most Orioles fans that were following today's spring training game were probably asking themselves, who the heck that pitcher was who relieved Chris Tillman in the 3rd inning.
It was Zech Zinicola, a 28-year old minor league free agent the Orioles signed this offseason. The 6-foot-1 right-hander spent 2012 with the Washington Nationals organization having success Double-AA Harrisburgh. Zinicola served a 50-game suspension for his second violation of baseball’s minor league drug program after testing positive for a "drug of abuse," which don't include performance enhencing drugs.
Zinicola, who will probably have the more fun name to say this season, will try to make an impression with his new organization. A former 6th round draft choice by the Nationals, Zinicola has stalled at Double-A where he has a career 3.39 ERA in 175.1 innings compared to a 5.73 ERA in 110 AAA innings. He'll fight for a spot in Norfolk's pen.
Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board
Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.