February 22, 2012; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Dan Wheeler (44) stretches during spring training at the Cleveland Indians Player Development Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran reliever Dan Wheeler retires from Major League Baseball

It is often said that relief pitchers can hang around in the Major Leagues forever, but even for 13-year veterans, the time eventually arrives when retirement is the best option.

Veteran reliever Dan Wheeler has reportedly called it quits after 13 seasons, and it was a nice run for the 36-year-old right-hander. As mentioned by Chris Cotillo above, Wheeler wasn’t pitching in the Majors during the 2013 season, and he managed only 15 innings for the triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

Prior to that, though, Wheeler was an above-average reliever for a long time. He peaked over a 2-year period with the Houston Astros in 2005 and 2006 when he accumulated 144.2 innings with an ERA under 2.50, and more recently, he put together a 3-year stretch from 2008 to 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays when he posted three straight seasons with a sub-3.50 ERA.

Still, the wheels came careening off quite fast for Wheeler (8.76 ERA in 12.1 innings in 2012 with the Indians), and regardless of whether it was injury or age, it seemed like the right time to walk out of the game for him in this spot.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Houston Astros Kansas City Royals Tampa Bay Rays

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