Veteran reliever Joba Chamberlain told the New York Post on Wednesday that he is retired.
The right-hander last pitched in the majors in 2016, when he was released by the Cleveland Indians. He was invited to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers this year but was cut before the team began the 2017 regular season.
“No, it’s time to be a dad,” Chamberlain told the newspaper, when asked if he planned to attempt a return. “Karter [11 years old] is in junior high, and obviously this year I got to see him play a lot. It was fun to watch. We went to Cooperstown [for a tournament], and that was fun for the boys.”
Chamberlain, 32, began his career as a touted prospect for the New York Yankees. He debuted in 2007 and went 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA in 19 innings out of the bullpen. That year, he infamously was swarmed by midges in the eighth inning of Game 2 of the ALDS against the Indians, which affected his command as he allowed Cleveland to score a run, tying the game, which they went on to win 2-1 in 11 innings. The Indians won that series in four games.
Although Chamberlain excelled as a reliever, the Yankees viewed him as a starting pitcher. The team limited his workload early on, an ultraprotective policy that came to be known as the “Joba Rules.” He started 12 games in 2008, going 4-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 100 1/3 innings. The next season he pitched 157 1/3 innings, making 31 starts and going 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA.
Those were the last starts he would make, however. He pitched out of the bullpen during the Yankees’ run to a World Series title in the 2009 playoffs and was made a full-time reliever in 2010, continuing to pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of his career.
He finishes his career 25-21 with a 3.81 ERA and 7 saves in 10 major league seasons, with stops in Detroit and Kansas City sandwiched between his time with the Yankees and Indians.