Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguer T.J. Zeuch tossed a no-hitter for Triple-A Buffalo last night. The feat came in a 3-0 victory over the Rochester Red Wings. He needed 114 pitches to do it while striking out three and walking one. He also hit a batter, giving him only two blemishes in the game.
The last no-hitter for Buffalo came when the club was the Indians’ Triple-A team back on June 20, 1997. The guy who did it: Bartolo Colon.
Zeuch, 24, was a first round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016. It came in his 11th Triple-A start. Coming into the season he was named the Blue Jays’ 17th-ranked prospect by MLB.com. The guy is 6’7″, which makes you think of Randy Johnson or someone, but he’s described as a ground ball machine who pitches to contact. I suppose a no-hitter with only three strikeouts is evidence of that. He projects as a backend starter in the bigs who, if he ups his strikeout rate, could be something truly special.
Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2010, his effectiveness as a closer fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2011 season. He’d pitch in only 19 games that year, suffer a back injury and would never pitch again.
In the year or so after that, we heard that Jenks was arrested for driving under the influence. And then we heard that his back surgery was botched, and his baseball career was over. Then, after years of silence, we learned last spring that Jenks won $5.1 million in a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who performed his surgery.
We did not, however, know all the details until Bobby Jenks wrote about them at the Players’ Tribune this morning. This is must-click link stuff, folks.
Jenks talks about how a seemingly innocuous pitch to Jorge Posada in an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game in 2011 was the last pitch he’d ever throw. He talks about the presumably simple surgery that would supposedly get him back on the field. And then the scary complications in which he almost died due to leaking spinal fluid resulting from the botched surgery. Then, after using painkillers to deal with back pain, Jenks’ fell into drug addiction, all of which culminated in him finding himself half-naked and crazed in a car that didn’t belong to him with police and rescue workers surrounding him.
Jenks got clean but his wife left him. And then he mounted a multi-year lawsuit during which he learned that the reason his back surgery was screwed up was because the surgeon was performing two surgeries at one time, which is an apparently common practice called “concurrent surgery,” that sounds like it totally should NOT be a common practice.
Yet Jenks has survived. He’s been sober for over seven years and he seems to be in a good place. But boy did he have to go through something harrowing to get there. Definitely take the time to read it.