July 2011

Josh Zeid…

Last night, the Philadelphia Phillies got their guy — Hunter Pence.

Pence, a native of Texas, left Texas last night, and made his way to Philadelphia, as he was dealt to the Phils for three prospects and a player to be named later. One of the prospects was RHP Josh Zeid, who was a member of the Reading Phillies.

Let’s take a look at Zeid, who will become a Hook — yes, that’s right a Hook. What’s a hook? Ehh, not sure!

Josh Zeid — Zeid spent 2010 in Lakewood (A). The New Haven, CT native appeared in 43 games for the BlueClaws and made 12 starts. He posted an 8-4 mark with eight saves and a 2.93 ERA.  A year later, he was in Reading to begin the season.

The 24-year-old began the 2011 season in the R-Phils rotation. He made his Double-A debut on April 7 in Portland, ME. On that day, Zeid went five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. He was saddled with the loss on the 7th.

Zeid would go winless over his first four starts in 2011, but on April 29 — he would get that first career Double-A victory. He would go five shutout innings and beat the Sea Dogs — the team that would beat him in his debut. He ended April 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in five starts.

In May, Zeid went 1-2 with a an 8.64 ERA in four starts. His best start of the month came on May 21 against Richmond in Baseballtown. He tossed six scoreless innings and earned his second win of the season.

On June 7, Zeid was placed on the disabled list with right biceps tendinitis. The injury sidelined him for 23 days, and when returned, he was a member of the bullpen — a role he was familiar with from his days with Lakewood.

On June 30 — his first day back with the R-Phils, Zeid appeared in the game for Reading and was solid. In just one inning of work, he fanned three batters. He continued to show he could pitch out of the ‘pen — and continued to be dominant. The strikeouts for him kept coming.

On July 2, Zeid earned his first Double-A save after tossing two scoreless innings. On July 22, Zeid tossed two innings out of the bullpen and struck-out five batters. Things were going well for him out of the ‘pen.

In all, Zeid posted a 0-0 mark with a 2.25 ERA in 10 relief appearances for Reading. He fanned 24 batters over 16 innings.

Now, he’s a member of the Houston Astros organization and a member of the Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A affiliate). On a personal level, I wish Josh all of the luck in the world. He was a great guy to have around in the Reading clubhouse. Good luck Josh.

550 pounds…

550 pounds — yes, that’s what it weighs. No, I’m not talking about the Baseballtown Big Dipper. I’m talking about the Life-Size Crazy Hot Dog Vendor statue, which arrived this week. One lucky fan will take it home for FREE on Sunday, as the R-Phils are set to give away this instant collectible.

So, what do you do with this thing you may ask? Well, that’s a great question. I would love to hear from fans on what they would do with it. Me, well that’s easy. I would put it on my doorstep. Who needs a guard dog when you have the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor guarding your door! Best way to greet people, right?

The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor is a staple of the R-Phils ballpark experience. Fans love when his music hits, the video plays on the videoboard, and GM Scott Hunsicker introduces him. Once he runs out onto the field, the crowd goes crazy. Fans immediately jump out of their seats and try to catch delicious Berks Packing hot dogs. It’s a great part of the Reading Phillies experience!

As for the 550-pound statue, well, if you want to see it in-person before Sunday, make your way to the ballpark on Friday and Saturday. It will be displayed at America’s Classic Ballpark for all to see. Or, check out 69 NEWS WFMZ TV tonight at 5:30 to see some up-close video of it.

We’ll see you at the ballpark this weekend!