Former Pirates #1 pick Kris Benson calls it quits
Right-hander Kris Benson has announced his retirement.
The 36-year-old, and former #1 selection by the Pirates in the 1996 draft, decides to leave the game after nine big league seasons.
“I’m done,” Benson told the FOXSports.com via phone from his home near Atlanta. “I decided pretty much after this past season that I wasn’t going to pursue anything. I’ve been putting way too much into it and not getting enough out of it, as far as the rehab, working out, training, and then not getting the type of results I expect from myself.”
“I wanted to make this decision now, rather than go into another season on another Minor League deal. I didn’t want to go through the head games of, ‘Am I going to make the team?’ I don’t mind the pressure. I just don’t want to fall into another situation like I had the last couple years, where I busted my tail getting back and then got hurt again shortly after I made the team.”
“This is a chance for me to be at home with my kids and enjoy the family life, which I’m not used to,” Benson told FOXSports.com. “It’s something a lot of guys welcome once their career is over.”
Benson spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1999-04). He also played with the New York Mets (2004-05), Baltimore Orioles (2006-07), Texas Rangers (2009) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2010).
Benson’s best year came in 2000, when he posted career high’s in strikeouts (184), innings pitched (217.2) and games pitched (32). Benson finished with a 3.85 ERA that year –his best over his nine major league seasons. He also broke the record for most strikeouts in Pirates history for a right handed pitcher.
Injury plagued seasons, shoulder and elbow injuries have prevented him from continuing his career. Benson had a 70-75 record with a 4.42 ERA in 206 games (200 starts).