Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Experiences God’s Plan in Tragedy: ‘He’s Got My Back’

Photo from Zach Efin’s Instagram

Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Experiences God’s Plan in Tragedy: ‘He’s Got My Back’

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Although a knee injury limited Zach Eflin to just 75.2 innings in his final season with the Philadelphia Phillies, he has trusted God’s plan for his life and landed a three-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. 

“Not the best timing,” Eflin said in an interview with The Athletic last year about his injury and pending free agency status. “But I believe in God’s plan. I don’t really stray away from that. I’ve gone through a lot of things in my life that, in the moment, I can say, ‘Yeah, it sucked.’”

“But I think it’s really all how you rebound, and you bounce back,” he continued. “I know one day that I’m going to be healthy. I’m going to throw 200-plus innings every year. That’s what I’m going to do. So, I just got to keep reminding myself that. Really stay in the moment and just take every day as a blessing.”

Since his signing with the Rays, “Eflin’s 11 wins in 2023 have already matched a career high, and they’re tied for the most in baseball through Monday’s games, while his 0.99 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched) is tied for the lowest among qualified pitchers,” SportsSpectrum reports. 

However, Eflin’s success on the diamond came from learning to trust God through family tragedies. 

Eflin’s older sister, Ashley, passed away from leukemia when she was just seven years old. His sister Candace was born with global developmental delay. 

He said, “[Candace] means everything to me. I can’t thank God enough for putting her in my life. She’s helped me overcome so many things in my life. I truly believe everything happens for a reason.’’

Eflin’s mother struggled with alcoholism, and following Ashley’s death, his parents divorced. Brittany, Eflin’s oldest sister, decided to step up and become the mother of the house while his father worked at the University of Central Florida in maintenance to keep the family together. 

In honor of his late sister and his faith, Eflin has a tattoo of two hands clasped in prayer. Underneath is the verse 2 Corinthians 5:7: “Walk by faith, not by sight.” 

Eflin admits that nothing but his confidence in Christ could give him the freedom and peace he needs to play. 

“Going out on the mound and throwing in front of 40,000 people doesn’t affect me whatsoever, because I know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is above me, and He’s got my back,” Eflin said in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer last year. 

“Faith, to me, has always been No. 1. I’ve always lived a care-free life. I’ve always known that God has had my back through everything. Being a good person, being a good Christian — Heaven’s going to open its doors.”

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