Backup Salt Lake Bees catcher Zach Zaneski finally gets his shot to play
SALT LAKE CITY — Catcher Zach Zaneski was promoted to the Salt Lake Bees organization from Double-A Arkansas on June 10. Since arriving in the Beehive State, however, Zaneski has mostly sat in the dugout, waiting.
Indeed, in his first six weeks with the team, Zaneski's biggest contributions were catching bullpen session after bullpen session for the Bees' relievers. Before Wednesday's game he had only appeared in two games for Salt Lake, once as a catcher and once as a pinch runner.
But with Bees manager Keith Johnson surrounded by an ailing roster, the Salt Lake skipper called on Zaneski to DH Wednesday in the Bees' 6-3 loss to Tacoma.
"(Zaneski's) been doing a great job for us," Johnson said. "He hasn't complained at all about catching all the bullpens and doing all the grunt work that we've asked. So I threw him a little bit of a bone and got him in the ballgame today and he did well. It was good to see him swing the bat."
In the second inning, Zaneski, after weeks of waiting, made his home debut for the Bees, smacking a double off the right-field wall. That was the catcher's only hit, but the opportunity to swing the bat and play in a game was special to him.
"(Sitting on the bench) is not what you plan to do," Zaneski said. "You come to the ballpark hoping to play every day and this year has been tough, but you know — just keep grinding out, try to finish the season off and just have fun with it."
Even with his limited playing time, Zaneski has tried to see silver linings in a tough personal season.
"Traveling to the new places has been cool," Zaneski said. "I'll get to see my cousin in a couple days in Fresno. The overall experience has been good, learning more about professional baseball and the way it works. It's kind of gave me new insight."
Zaneski said that the Bees coaching staff has told him to keep his head up and not to worry about the things that are out of his control.
"There's nothing I can do but control the things that I can control," Zaneski said. "So try to control what I do and try to have fun — because if I'm not having fun there's no point in doing it."
On Wednesday Zaneski finally got to have some fun on the field again.
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