Blue Jays: Former pitcher David Phelps announces retirement

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins
Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

David Phelps, fresh off of his second stint for the Toronto Blue Jays and third season overall, took to social media on Wednesday night to announce his retirement from Major League Baseball.

Phelps, 36, will hang it up as the proud owner of a strong decade-long career in the big leagues.

He broke into the league in 2012 as a 25-year-old starting pitcher on the New York Yankees, where he stayed for the first three years of his career. After posting some so-so results as a starter, he began a transition to the bullpen, one that he continued once he was traded to the Miami Marlins in the 2014-2015 offseason.

With the Marlins, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and even the Toronto Blue Jays for a short while from 2015-2020, Phelps turned himself into one of the more reliable - yet underrated - bullpen arms in the game. His 2019 performance in which he made 41 appearances with a 3.41 ERA and 147 ERA+ remained his best to date until last year.

With the Phillies in the second half of 2020, the wheels fell off a bit for Phelps, who surrendered 11 runs in under eight innings, seeing his ERA balloon up to 12.91 for the club. He became a free agent at the end of the season and then returned to the Blue Jays, where he had had success in 2019, for another go.

In 2021, he made just 11 appearances for the big league club thanks to a whole slew of injuries including a significant strain in his right lat. In that time, he struck out 15 batters and walked only four in 10.1 innings of work. The Jays liked him enough to bring him back on a minor league contract for the 2022 season.

Phelps is lucky to be able to say that he is retiring from Major League Baseball on top. Last season, he was truly dominant, making 65 appearances (a career-high) and posting a 2.83 ERA with a 3.16 FIP and 138 ERA+. He struck out 64 batters in as many innings and allowed just two home runs all year, continuing to be well-above-average at limiting the longball.

Playing 10 years in the sport is nothing to scoff at, and many Jays fans were hoping Phelps would be brought back once again this offseason, but this explains why nothing came to fruition between player and club. We at Jays Journal thank Phelps for the fond memories of his time in Toronto and wish him all the best in his post-playing days.

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