Veteran left-hander Sean Doolittle announced on Instagram Friday morning that he’s retiring after 17 years in skilled baseball. He spent the season with the Nationals group, hoping for a comeback bid within the Majors after undergoing UCL surgery last summer, however the restoration from that process and a subsequent knee damage restricted him to only 10 2/3 minor league innings this season. He’s been on the minor league injured checklist since late June.
“After 11 unimaginable seasons taking part in the game I really like, I can say with gratitude and a full coronary heart that I’m retiring from baseball,” Doolittle wrote in asserting his choice.
“Seventeen years in the past the Oakland Athletics drafted me as a primary baseman out of the College of Virginia. Nevertheless, as a few of you could know, my profession practically ended earlier than it started. After a spate of early accidents, I used to be practically prepared to hold it up. However then the crew approached me and requested if I’d be keen to provide pitching a attempt. With the course and unwavering assist of A’s farm director Keith Liepmann and pitching coach Garvin Alston, I discovered my second probability. I’m endlessly grateful to them for serving to me flip a second probability right into a profession.”
Doolittle went on to difficulty heartfelt thank yous to his household, followers of the A’s and Nationals, his managers, his teammates, his coaches, and to the Reds and Mariners for his time spent with every group (and, because the always-humorous southpaw notes, for “rising [his] probability for getting on the Immaculate Grid”).
Doolittle’s second probability certainly grew to become a profession — and a really nice one at that. The No. 41 total decide within the 2007 draft debuted with the 2012 A’s and hit the bottom operating, pitching 47 1/3 innings of three.04 ERA ball with an enormous 31.4% strikeout charge and glorious 5.8% stroll charge. Doolittle nearly instantly cemented himself as one of many high lefty relievers within the recreation, and by his third MLB season in 2014, he’d seized the nearer’s function in Oakland and been named to his first of two All-Star groups.
For 5 and a half seasons, Doolittle anchored the Oakland bullpen, posting a 3.09 ERA in 253 innings with 68 holds and 36 saves. He and righty Ryan Madson had been traded to the Nationals in a July 2017 swap that despatched a struggling (on the time) Blake Treinen, then-prospect Jesus Luzardo, and minor league infielder Sheldon Neuse again to Oakland. It was a steep value for the Nats to pay, however it’s uncertain Washington has any regrets.
Doolittle stepped again right into a ninth-inning function in D.C. and thrived, saving 21 video games and pitching to a 2.40 ERA down the stretch along with his new membership earlier than tossing three good frames within the postseason. From 2017-19, the left-hander logged a 2.87 ERA and saved 75 video games for the Nationals. The 2019 marketing campaign noticed Doolittle end an NL-best 55 video games and decide up a career-high 29 saves.
Regardless of a rocky month of August, he performed a major function within the Nationals’ now-legendary 2019 turnaround, notably as soon as the postseason rolled round. Doolittle was one among supervisor Davey Martinez’s most trusted arms throughout the Nationals’ playoff run, tossing 10 1/3 innings with a 1.74 ERA and 8-to-1 Okay/BB ratio. Whereas it was teammate Daniel Hudson who threw the enduring last pitch of the Nationals’ World Collection win, Doolilttle saved two video games and picked up three holds over the course of the 2019 postseason. That features three shutout frames within the World Collection itself, highlighted by Doolittle nailing down a four-out save when he set down Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa so as in a Sport 1 victory.
Accidents have marred the ultimate few seasons of Doolittle’s profession, however he’ll nonetheless retire as a two-time All-Star and a World Collection champion. He totaled 450 2/3 innings of three.20 ERA ball in elements of 11 large league seasons, including in one other 22 1/3 innings with a 2.42 mark within the postseason. Doolittle additionally logged 112 saves (115 together with postseason play) and 82 holds (plus 5 extra within the playoffs). Between his journeys to free company and an early $10.5MM extension that included a pair of membership choices for an additional whole $12.5MM, Doolittle earned $26MM over the course of his profession.
Beloved for his clutch performances, candid and infrequently eccentric character, and considerate method to pitching, Doolittle would probably have myriad alternatives to proceed his profession in baseball as a coach, scout or govt if he aspires to take action. Congratulations on an impressive profession and finest needs to the southpaw in his post-playing days, whichever path he chooses to take.