Unable to get himself healthy enough to pitch this year after missing much of the previous two seasons with various injuries, Nationals reliever Koda Glover surprisingly announced his retirement from professional baseball this afternoon.
“I write to you all today with great despair, that I will be announcing my retirement from professional baseball,” the 26-year-old wrote in a message posted to his Twitter account. “I have experienced a number of injuries the past three years and I believe it is time to step away from my playing career.”
An eighth-round pick of the 2015 draft out of Oklahoma State, Glover burst through the Nationals’ farm system and made his major league debut only one year later, seeking to help a bullpen that had struggled throughout a pennant race. He made 19 appearances that season, then came into the following spring with a chance to win the open closer’s job.
Glover would end up recording eight saves for the Nats in 2017, but he missed the final 3 1/2 months of the season with what he eventually revealed was a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. A recurrence of shoulder pain forced him to miss the first three months of the 2018 season, though Glover and the club were optimistic when he finally returned to post a 3.31 ERA in 21 appearances late in the season.
Alas, Glover again was injured this spring, shut down in February with a forearm strain and eventually placed on the 60-day injured list. He never threw a pitch in the minors or majors this season.
The Nationals faced a decision this evening whether or not to tender a contract to Glover, who despite all his time missed had accrued more than three years of big league service time and thus would have qualified for arbitration for the first time in his career.
Instead, he made the decision to walk away from baseball, retiring at 26 with a 4.55 ERA and nine saves in 63 career big league appearances, not to mention memories to last a lifetime.
“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,” Glover wrote. “This game has given me experiences that I will forever cherish and never forget. I want to thank the Washington Nationals, for giving me a home for the past five years and giving me the opportunity to showcase my talents across this great country. I want to thank my teammates for the great memories and lifelong friendships I have developed along the way. I want to thank all of my fans that supported me through all of the ups and downs over the years. Lastly, I want to thank my family for standing by me and making sacrifices along the way so that I could pursue my childhood dream. I appreciate everyone that believed in me, I’ll cherish the support and memories forever.”