Pitcher Luke Hochevar has retired from baseball, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports. The 34-year-old right-hander underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome two years ago but is still unable to pitch without pain. Hochevar said it was evident last year he would not be able to pitch again in the majors. He said, “There was just no way. That was it. I got up to the 80 percent [recovery] which you’re supposed to and it just wasn’t working. It was hurting just to throw. No way I could have ever gotten back to this level to get guys out. Just too much pain.”
Hochevar continued, “I mean, it hurt to throw out [the ceremonial first pitch on Sunday]. But I’m very happy with where I am. Very content. I’m thankful for all I had in this game. The game was very good to me. I had a long run. I’m happy with that. Now I get to do things anytime I want. I get to farm. I get to have my ministry hunts. It’s all good.”
Hochevar spent parts of nine seasons in the majors, all with the Royals. He began his career as a starter but transitioned into the bullpen in 2013. All together, he posted a career ERA of 4.98 with 702 strikeouts and 299 walks in 929 1/3 innings. According to Baseball Reference, Hochevar earned north of $30 million over his career.