About 4 minutes reading time.

Australian IF Curtis Mead Makes Tampa Bay’s Opening Day Roster; Colombian P Zuniga On Angels Roster; Nats Release 1B Diaz

 Matt Tallarini  |    Mar 28th, 2024 7:14am EDT

Zac Veen of the National League steals second base against Curtis Mead of the American League during the third inning of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Australian Baseball League X account reported on March 27 that Australian born infielder Curtis Mead made the Tampa Bay Rays opening day roster for the 2024 regular season. 

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times confirmed on March 27 that Mead made the Rays opening day roster.  

Mead is the only Australian-born player on an active roster prior to the start of the 2024 season. Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendricks, a native of Perth, Australia, had Tommy John surgery last summer after landing on the 60-day injured list with right elbow inflammation on Aug. 10, 2023 while a member of the Chicago White Sox. 

Mead is the 37th Australian-born player to play in Major League Baseball. There are currently 30 Australian born players in the minor leagues at the beginning of the 2024 MLB regular season. 

Mead has been with the Rays organization since he acquired in a trade witht he Philadelphia Phillies on Nov. 20, 2019, for left-handed pitcher Cristopher Sanchez. He was born in Adelaide, Australia and made his big league debut on Aug. 4, 2023 at home against the Colorado Rockies. 

During spring training, Mead played in 22 games and batted .265 with 13 hits, one double, one home run, eight RBI, five walks, and five strikeouts.

Mead has spent four winter ball seasons in the Australia Baseball League with the Adelaide Giants, playing in 115 games with 419 plate appearances and batting .302 with 116 hits, 18 doubles, 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 28 walks and a .799 OPS.

Colombian RHP Guillermo Zuniga Makes Los Angeles Angels Opening Day Roster – Colombian right-handed pitcher Guillermo Zuniga made the Los Angeles Angels opening day roster, Lucho Anaya of PrimerTiempo.CO reported on March 27. 

Zuniga, 25, was born in Cartagena, Colombia, and played last season in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Zuniga made nine appearances out of the bullpen in spring training and posted a 6.52 ERA going 1-0 throwing 9.2 innings allowing 13 hits, seven earned runs, 12 strikeouts, and a 1.345 WHIP.

Last season, Zuniga made his MLB debut on May 2, 2023 at home against the Angels and threw one inning and struck out two batters with 18 pitches. He made one more appearance in MLB during the 2023 season against the New York Mets at home on Aug. 19 and threw one inning and allowed two hits, one earned run, and two strikeouts with 25 pitches. 

Zuniga was traded to the Angels on February 7 for cash considerations.

According to Baseball Savant, Zuniga’s fastball tops out at 98.9 mph and an 18.2. whiff percentage alongside his slider at 88.1 mph and a 22.2 whiff percentage.

Washington Nationals Release First Baseman Lewin Diaz – The Washington Nationals released first baseman Lewin Diaz prior to the start of the 2024 regular season, the organization stated on their transaction page. 

Diaz signed a minor league deal with Washington back on December 22, 2023 which included an invite to big league camp. 

Diaz, 27, was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and has played in three seasons in Major League Baseball with the Miami Marlins from 2020-22. 

During spring training, the left-handed hitter batted .231 in 17 games with six hits, two doubles, two home runs, six RBI, one walk, and six strikeouts. 

Diaz played in 39 games in the 2023-24 LIDOM regular season with the Estrellas Orientales and batted .211 with 141 plate appearances and 27 hits, four doubles, one triple, one home run, 19 RBI, 10 walks, and 25 strikeouts. 

In the 2023 season, Diaz played in the Baltimore Orioles organization with Triple-A Norfolk in 118 games and hit .268 with 483 plate appearances recording 111 hits, 21 doubles, 17 home runs, 64 RBI, 60 walks, 95 strikeouts, and a .804 OPS before he elected free agency on November 6, 2023. 

During his last MLB season in 2022, Diaz split his time in South Florida and Triple-A Jacksonville. With Miami, Diaz hit .169 in 174 plate appearances playing in 58 games with 27 hits, four doubles, five home runs, 11 RBI, 11 walks, 54 strikeouts, and a .512 OPS.

During his three seasons in MLB, Diaz has played in 112 games with a career average of .181 in 343 plate appearances with 58 hits, 10 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 27 RBI, 19 walks, 99 strikeouts, and a .567 OPS.