Kyle McClellan announced on his personal Facebook page this week that he has officially retired from baseball at age 30. The right-hander made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 2008 and eventually developed into a very good middle reliever, posting a career-best 2.27 ERA across 75 1/3 innings in 2010. But injuries to both of his shoulders eventually derailed his career, and he flamed out with the Rangers in June 2013.
Here is a portion of McClellan’s announcement …
My first thoughts were how thankful I am to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers. First the Cardinals… The Cardinals drafted me when I was a 17 year old kid who grew up here in St. Louis as a lifelong Cardinal fan. During my time with the organization I not only grew as a baseball player but I grew as a person. I learned lessons in my 11 years with the Cardinals that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
The Texas Rangers…. I only spent one season with the Rangers but I will always be thankful for them because they gave me a chance after coming off of a surgery. They treated me with such respect and were honest with me from day one and that is something that I will always appreciate. I wasn’t able to perform to the level that I would have liked in my short time there and to those fans and teammates I apologize for that. I will always be a fan of the organization and am rooting for you.
I also need to thank the fans and my teammates. If it weren’t for the fans we would not have this great sport. I was so fortunate to be a part of two great fan bases who showed up every night to support the team. Many players can only hope to be a part of organizations and fan bases like these and I did not take that for granted.
Kyle McClellan on the disabled list due to a ribcage injury. Martin Perez on the disabled list due to a fractured left forearm. Robbie Ross moved to the bullpen recently. Justin Grimm and Randy Wells sent to Triple-A.
The Rangers have had a lot of moving parts as they attempted to find a suitable candidate for the #5 spot in the rotation. Now, the single red rose can go to one of two finalists: prospect Nick Tepesch and veteran Derek Lowe, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan:
But Washington is still holding off naming Tepesch as the fifth starter. Lowe allows him to do that. Lowe has made three starts for the Rangers and is up to 60 pitches. He could make two more starts — including one in extended spring training after Opening Day — and be up to 90 pitches when the Rangers need a fifth starter on April 9 against the Rays.
The Rangers would rather have Lowe in the bullpen. They are ready to commit to Tepesch as their fifth starter. They just aren’t ready to make the official announcement.
Lowe posted a 5.52 ERA as a starter with the Cleveland Indians, but moved to the bullpen when he was signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees in mid-August. He had significantly more success as a reliever, posting a 3.04 ERA in 23.2 innings. As for Tepesch, he got his first taste of Double-A competition with Frisco last year, posting a 4.28 ERA in 90.1 innings.
Kyle McClellan, who was hoping to come back from shoulder surgery and win a spot on the Rangers as a fifth starter or long reliever, has been shut down with more shoulder problems.
Ron Matejko of ESPN Dallas reports that McClellan had to cut short Sunday’s bullpen session, but the right-hander seems optimistic that it’s a minor setback.
“You know pain and you know if it’s something structural, but this is just one of the muscles,” McClellan said. “I can put my finger right on it and feel it.”
When healthy McClellan posted a 3.69 ERA in 378 innings for the Cardinals, but his health being in question is why he was available to the Rangers on a minor-league deal.