Royals starting pitcher Gil Meche has announced his retirement at 32. Meche was 84-83 with a 4.49 ERA in 10 Major League seasons for the Seattle Mariners (1999-2000, 2003-06) and Royals (2007-10). Meche signed a five-year contract with the Royals on December 8, 2006 and served as the club’s Opening Day starter in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
He posted a 29-39 record for Kansas City, compiling a 4.27 ERA in 111 games, including 100 starts. Meche tied for second in the Majors with 68 starts combined in 2007 and 2008 and also ranked tied for sixth with 44 quality starts over that span. The native of Lafayette, La., struggled with right shoulder injuries in 2009 and 2010, making 43 appearances (32 starts).
Below is his official statement:
“After a lot of thinking and prioritizing of issues in my life I have decided to retire from baseball. As a competitor my entire life this is the hardest decision that I’ve ever faced, but it’s not fair to me, my family or the Kansas City Royals that I attempt to pitch anymore. I came into this game as a starting pitcher and unfortunately my health, more accurately, my shoulder, has deteriorated to the point where surgery would be the only option and at this stage of my life I would prefer to call it a career rather than to attempt to pitch in relief for the final year of my contract. I can’t thank the Kansas City Royals and their fans enough for my four seasons there and if I have any regret, it’s that we weren’t able to accomplish on the field what the goal was when I signed there.”