In a surprising and saddening development, Nationals reliever Koda Glover has announced that he’s retiring as a player at just 26 years of age. Injuries have ravaged the former eighth-round pick’s promising career and limited him to just 55 1/3 innings since making his Major League debut as a 23-year-old back in 2016.
Glover had Tommy John surgery before he was even drafted by the Nationals and has also battled a torn labrum in his hip, repeated back and shoulder troubles and, in 2019, a forearm strain that generated concerns about yet another elbow surgery.
“I write to you all today with great despair, that I will be announcing my retirement from professional baseball,” Glover writes. “I have experienced a number of injuries the past three years and I believe it is time to step away from my playing career. I have loved this game from the moment I took my first steps and I will continue to love it for the rest of my life.” His statement goes on to thank the Nationals organizations, its fans, and the coaches and teammates who’ve impacted him throughout his brief career.
Glover was heralded by managerial legend Dusty Baker as the Nationals’ potential closer of the future, and given his possession of a fastball that averaged better than 96 mph and a wipeout slider, it’s easy to see why Baker wasn’t alone in thinking that. Glover did save eight games for the Nationals in 2017, but injuries never allowed him to reach even 20 innings in a big league season — and they surely contributed to some of his struggles on the mound as well. Glover revealed after the 2016 season that he’d been pitching through a torn labrum in his hip, and he pitched through rotator cuff issues the following year.
Overall, he’ll be forced to step away from the game after pitching 55 1/3 innings with nine saves, a 4.55 ERA and a 42-to-21 K/BB ratio. His retirement will open a spot on the Nationals’ 40-man roster — it’s now at 31 players — and will only further underscore the team’s need for bullpen help. Best wishes to Glover in whatever path he chooses to pursue in his post-playing days.
Sometimes, it just isn’t your day. I’ll miss you pitching, Koda.
Wow. Feel bad for the guy, but he did achieve his childhood dream of playing MLB baseball, something 99.99% of us never did.
There are plenty of jobs in the game and he’s still young enough to pursue any educational or career path he’d like.
Got a ring too.
Did he? He didn’t pitch in 2019 so I wouldn’t think so.
If he was on the 40 man he got a ring
Unfortunate…he was a good pitcher when healthy.
Grover is indeed a monster
Sad his career was cut short by injuries. Good luck in his future endeavors…
Houston is in need of a CF video manager. Post-playing career possibility #3894.
Dude was on the 60DL at least once in each of the last three seasons. I feel for him. Glad he got his ring.
The Cub will sign him in 5 years
shame this guy’s arm never held up. he certainly had the stuff.
Currently just 26!
I’d be willing to bet he takes 2 or 3 years off and decides to give it one more go if he can get his body healthy.
Even at 28 or 29 he could go a few years at the back end of a pen
He will be back. Spring training 2021.
Another Dusty Baker pitcher travesty
Could have been really great but what sets the great apart from the no names is being able to play to your ability,