This is a pretty nice stat line. Ziegler’s story has Billy Beane’s and thus Bill James’s fingerprints all over it. A 20th-round draft pick out of college who spent a few years struggling in the low minors, the A’s converted him to a submarine-style pitching motion last year (James has always been a big believer in the theory that submarine pitching motions aren’t used enough, mainly because of old-time baseball men’s prejudice against throwing under-handed. Hmmm, does the use of the term under-handed to mean devious encode this semantically?).
Well now the guy has given up one earned run in 56 innings of AAA and MLB pitching. His major league career is 32 innings long and no one has gotten an extra base hit on him.
An odd footnote to all this is that his skull has been fractured twice in the last four years — once by a line drive in a game, and then this past January in a freak accident at a baseball camp by a stray baseball.