Former MLB All-Star Closer Eric Gagne Retires from Competitive Baseball, Eyes Coaching Instead
Former All-Star closer and Cy Young winner Eric Gagne ended his comeback try after just 3 2/3 innings with the Long Island Ducks in the Independent League. Gagne hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2008.
According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, Gagne decided to put a halt to his comeback attempt after he was roughed up in his stint with the Ducks. He finished his stint with a 0-2 record, giving up seven hits, nine runs, four walks and five strikeouts with 12.27 ERA.
In his last outing with the Ducks, Gagne entered the top of the ninth but was pulled out after giving up three earned runs in 2/3 inning. Despite this, the Ducks escaped with a 4-3 win over the Somerset Patriots, per Bleacher Report.
Earlier this season, the Dodgers considered signing the 41-year-old Gagne to a minor league deal but it did not push through. Cotillo said Gagne will focus his attention to coaching. According To Dodgers Nation, Gagne coached with the Dodgers in Spring Training and may take on a similar role in the coming seasons.
Before joining the Independent League, Gagne showed that he can still be competitive despite his age when he suited up for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, where he pitched 2.1 scoreless innings. He also pitched in the independent Canadian-American Association in 2015-16 where he lasted just 9 1/3 innings.
A 30th-round draft choice of the Chicago White Sox in 1994, Gagne signed with the Dodgers as an amateur free agent the following year. He started his career as a starting pitcher but was moved to a closer role in 2002 after the retirement of Jeff Shaw.
Gagne recorded 187 save over his 10-year Major League career. During his prime, he was known as one of the league's best closers. Between 2002 and 2004, he tallied a 1.79 ERA and a 1.57 FIP with 152 saves, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
In 2003, Gagne tied John Smoltz's National League record with 55 saves. During his career, he played for the Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers.
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