Italian / American New Jersey Born Pitcher: Vinny Mazzaro (2009-2012)
Vincent Michael Mazzaro was born on September 27, 1986 in Hackensack, New Jersey. He grew up in the shadow of the Meadowlands & Giants Stadium, attending East Rutherford High School where he pitched his high school to two straight championships.
In 2005 the six foot two, right handed pitcher was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the third round. After winning nine games twice at the A ball level he was promoted to AA where went 12-2 with a 1.90 ERA in 2008. He was promoted to AAA Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League going 3-3 then making the A’s big league staff in 2009.
He made his MLB debut in June and won his first start, pitching into the 7th inning in Chicago allowing no runs on three hits to the White Sox. He won his next start against Baltimore as well, this time pitching into the 8th inning allowing no runs on 5 hits, with 4 strike outs, in Oakland.
From there he struggled losing his next eight decisions, before winning at Kansas City & Baltimore in early August. He closed out his rookie year at 4-9 with a 5.32 ERA. He set a strange record that season, having four plate appearances without recording a single at bat. In each case he safely sacrificed. The old record of three PA belonged to former Mets pitcher Dwight Bernard.
In 2010 he began the year 2-0 although his ERA was near five in early June. He had a good July winning four straight decisions lowering his ERA to 3.45. But then again he suffered a rough losing streak, dropping seven of eight games. He was 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA before getting sent back down to the minors in early September. In November Mazzaro was traded to the Kansas City Royals for David Dejesus.
In his Royals debut, he earned no decision in a May 11th outing against the AL New York club. The Royals went on to win the game 4-3. On June 12th he pitched seven shut out innings against the L.A. Angels earning his first & only win of the year. By mid June he was 1-1 with an ERA over ten & was sent back down. Mazzaro was successful at AAA Omaha going 7-2 striking out 107 batters in 123 innings, returning for a September call up.
In 2012 he beagn the year with the Royals starting out at 2-0 beating good Texas & Oakland teams. He ended up at 3-3 with a 6.12 ERA & was sent back down to AAA Omaha in mid July.In november he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Clint Robinson for two minor leaguers.
Mazzaro debuted with the Pirates pitching one inning or relief on April 18th, in a 6-4 loss to the Braves. On April 24th he earned his first National League win, in a Pirate 5-3 win at Philadelphia over the Phillies.