Relievers Dan Wheeler and Joel Zumaya have officially retired from the game, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter links). The pair of 6'3" righties each saw their share of success at the MLB level.
Wheeler, 36, had far the lengthier career of the two. Over 13 big league seasons, Wheeler posted a cumulative 3.98 ERA over 640 2/3 innings, most all of them in relief. He was a sturdy presence in the pen for the Rays and Astros over much of the first decade of the 21st century, and also had stints with the Mets, Red Sox, and Indians. He ended his MLB career with a disappointing run in Cleveland in 2012, and likewise struggled last year with the Royals' Triple-A affiliate.
Zumaya, who just turned 29 in November, showed flashes of excellence in his short career. Over five seasons with the Tigers, the fireballer posted a 3.05 ERA in 209 2/3 innings pitched. (Somewhat oddly, he notched exactly one save in each of those campaigns.) His lifetime rate stats stand at 9.0 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9. Zumaya's best season was his first: in 83 1/3 innings in 2006, he allowed just 1.94 earned runs per nine innings. A series of elbow surgeries led to an untimely end to Zumaya's playing days.
To think Zumaya may have ruined his career because of Guitar Hero.
Also moving boxes at his parent’s house. Must have been some super important boxes.
He hit the dl before after getting injured carrying a bong out of a house fire
The whole Zumaya getting exactly one save in each of his major league seasons is kind of crazy.
Joel Zumaya was not a pitcher. He was a really hard thrower. Glad he made some money with all those injuries he got.
I guess you never saw his curveball then…
Kinda surprised Wheeler is calling it quits. I thought he still had something left in the tank. Guess not. Wish him the best.
My first experience with Dan Wheeler was sitting with my mom by the visitor’s bullpen at a Cardinals VS Astros NLCS game at old Busch Stadium in 2004. Wheeler was warming up in the pen and this super drunk Cardinals fan was shouting “Wheeler! Wiener!” over and over. It cracked me up. But, from that day forward, I was a Dan Wheeler fan. My mom and I still look back fondly on that night every now and then. Sad to see Dan retire but I think it was time. Despite being a die hard Cardinals fan, I’ll always have a place in my heart for a lot of the mid-2000’s Astros…Berkman, Biggio, Baggy, Oswalt, Chris Burke (anyone remember that walkoff homer against Atlanta in ’05?) , and, of course, Dan Wheeler.
Hey look, more players my O’s can beg out of retirement !
Secretly, I was hoping Zumaya had rehabbed and the Tigers were gonna throw him a minor league invite. I guess that answers that. Still seems too young to not get surgery and rehab whatever is forcing him to retire. Good luck to you Zoom!
Sad. Zumaya was absolutely electric to watch. His velocity in mph resembled wee hours rather than interstate numbers. But the graveyard of many a pitcher is littered with flamethrowers.
Wheeler had a very solid career. Something to be proud of. I feel bad for Zumaya though. Always sad to see a career cut short due to injury