Retired right-hander Eric Gagne was on the mound in front of Dodgers executives on Sunday. It’s been nearly seven years since Gagne entered retirement, though he’s scheduled to pitch for Team Canada during the World Baseball Classic later this spring.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick noted that while Dodgers’ president Andrew Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi were in attendance on Sunday, along with “much of the front office,” the bullpen session wasn’t part of Gagne’s comeback attempt. It won’t be the only bullpen session he tosses this spring, however, as the veteran righty intends to sharpen his skills while also serving as a guest pitching instructor for the Dodgers’ staff.
The 41-year-old announced his retirement in 2010, but hasn’t set foot on a big league stage since his one-year stint with the Brewers in 2008. Over a 10-year career, most of which took place in Dodger Stadium, the right-hander delivered a 3.47 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 for the Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox and Brewers. He earned three All-Star nominations from 2002-2004 and took home his first and only NL Cy Young Award in 2003.
Gagne attempted a few rounds with various clubs in the Canadian-American Association in 2009, 2015 and 2016, though he hasn’t pitched more than 10 innings total in the last seven years. Now, he claims to have regained the velocity and pitch repertoire that fueled his success in the majors.
“I feel great,” he told Gurnick. “It’s almost scary.”