Former Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson announced his retirement from baseball on Wednesday. The right-hander had previously signed a minor league contract with Texas and planned to head to Major League Spring Training and compete for a job. However, the Rangers’ release today revealed that he’s experienced a setback in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Said Tolleson in a statement, via the Rangers:
My intention was to compete for a position on the Rangers’ Major League pitching staff in 2019. With that no longer being a possibility, I have decided this is the right time to retire from professional baseball and move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to thank the Texas Rangers organization for all of their assistance in my rehab over the last year. It was a dream come true to pitch for my hometown team for three years, and my family and I will always be grateful for that opportunity.
From 2014-15, Tolleson was a high-quality late-inning option for the Rangers — first as a setup man and then as a closer. Over the course of those two seasons, he worked to a 2.88 ERA with 9.1 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in 144 innings — highlighted by a terrific 35-save campaign in 2015 that earned him a 10th-place finish in American League Cy Young voting.
Back injuries limited Tolleson to 36 1/3 innings in 2016, though, during which time he struggled to a 7.68 ERA. Following that rough campaign, he signed on with the Rays but required Tommy John surgery in Spring Training. He’d go on to miss each of the next two season as he recovered.
Tolleson’s career will be far more abbreviated than he or any of his three big league organizations would’ve otherwise hoped, but he’ll nevertheless retire with a lifetime 3.92 ERA, a 14-8 record, 46 saves, 8.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 spread across parts of five big league seasons between the Dodgers and his hometown Rangers.