Zavada Earns the Victory in Big League Debut

The feel-good story of Clay Zavada just gets better and better. The 24-year old southpaw who didn't play above Low-A Ball until this year, who was pitching in an independent league last May, and who was not pitching professionally at all in 2007 pitched a one-two-three seventh inning to earn the win in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 4-3 victory Thursday night.

Clay Zavada was a 30th-round draft selection in 2006 before taking the 2007 season off to help his family cope with the death of his father.  He returned in 2008, playing ball for the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier league before being part of a pseudo-trade that got him back into the Diamondbacks organization.  He was literally unhittable for South Bend that year and went 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA for the BayBears this season in 17 1/3 innings.

Zavada was called up along with teammate Gerardo Parra earlier in the month, but returned to Mobile after just one day on the big league roster.  He got promoted once again today, and was called upon to pitch the seventh inning of a one-run game, with the D-backs trailing the Marlins 3-2.

Zavada's fastball did not top 88 MPH, but it had the movement and location to be effective. Zavada induced a weak popout from the opposing pitcher with his fastball, then engineered two swinging strikeouts on his 80 MPH changeup.  One of those whiffs came from ex-Diamondback Emilio Bonifacio.

Kyler Newby also joined the D-backs in Florida.  The former 50th-round draft selection had a rough go in big league camp, having allowed four homers and eight runs in three innings. Nevertheless, after going 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA for the BayBears this year in 18 2/3 innings, Newby was promoted to the majors along with Zavada.  These fresh arms help offset the loss of Scott Schoeneweis, who is on the bereavement list after the tragic death of his wife on Wednesday.

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