The Arizona Diamondbacks have released veteran utility man Eric Hinske. According to Chris Gabel of the Reno Gazette-Journal, this will probably be the end of Hinske’s career, as he is likely to retire.
Hinske won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2002 when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays, a year where he hit .279/.365/.481 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs. He appeared to be emerging as one of the game’s best young hitters. While he has been a solid contributor throughout his career, he never really lived up to his rookie season, hitting just .249/.332/.430 over his 12 year career. He would reach 20 homers only once more, in 2008 for the Rays, and hasn’t topped a .270 average since 2006.
The last few seasons have been particularly brutal on Hinske. In 2012, as a bench player for the Braves, he hit just .197/.272/.311. As a bench player for the D’Backs this year, he’s hit just .173/.259/.288. It appears that time has caught up with the 35 year old journeyman.
Throughout his long career, Hinske has been a part of the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, and Arizona Diamondbacks. He has 137 career home runs with these teams, and will be remembered as a good clubhouse influence.