In some news that came as a small surprise to me, I read that Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league left-handed pitcher, Matt Wright, has decided to retire after six minor league seasons.
Ray Wilde, a writer for the Lewistown (Pennsylvania) Sentinel, reports that Wright has decided to hang up his cleats. Drafted in the 12th round of the 2008 draft out of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Wright started his professional career as a starter for two years in Auburn posting excellent ERAs and WHIPs while increasing his strikeout numbers significantly in his second year there.
In 2010, Wright began to pitch exclusively out of the bullpen, throwing 67 2/3 outstanding innings with the Lansing Lugnuts, posting a 2.53 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 3.73 BB/K ratio. He improved on that number, maintaining his high strikeout numbers but showing even better control in 2011 in Dunedin.
In 2012, he started his season in Dunedin after a tired arm resulted in lower velocity that April. Once the velocity returned, he headed north to Double-A New Hampshire to pitch a very solid season until tearing the meniscus in his knee, an injury that required surgery to repair. Coming back from the injury in mid-August, Wright made five appearances with the Dunedin Blue Jays to complete the 2012 season.
2013 was not the best season for Wright. His control wasn’t as sharp as it had been (27 walks in 63 2/3 innings) and his strikeouts were down from what he was able to do in 2012. I was in New Hamsphire for Wright’s second (and final) start of the season, in which he went three and a third extremely rough innings against the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox’ Double-A affiliate) as a last-minute replacement for Ryan Tepera. It was a horrible game for the entire pitching staff which surrendered 15 runs to Portland on 17 hits.
A highly decorated pitcher in college, Wright leaves the game having been a Rookie of the Year (Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference in 2006), an NCAA Division II All American (in 2008) and helped get the Shippensburg Red Raiders to the Division II World Series (in 2008).
Having pitched all over and even having struck out players like Alex Rodriguez and Jacoby Ellsbury, Wright is quoted as saying that he doesn’t have any regrets. He plans to work with his father at the family’s business in McClure, Pennsylvania and coach baseball in the summer.
We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.