After a long and somewhat storied career, long time left-handed starter Randy Wolf has decided to officially retire.
A team recently called for Randy Wolf, but Wolf has retired. He finished out a very nice career:133-125 record
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 10, 2016
Despite the interest from some unnamed team, the 39-year-old has decided not to take another shot at returning to the big leagues in 2016 or beyond. In 34.2 innings for the Detroit Tigers in 2015, Wolf accumulated a 6.23 ERA and 4.78 FIP. It’s unclear what sort of performance Wolf could have brought to a team in 2016, but now we will not find out.
After initially being drafted in 1994 by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wolf instead went to Pepperdine University before being drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997. Wolf made his debut in the last year of the 20th century.
Over his 16-year career, Wolf pitched for over a third of the teams throughout baseball, playing for twelve teams in total between the majors and minors. Following the first eight years of his career in Philadelphia, from 1999-2006, Wolf averaged a team a year over the last ten years of his career, including stints with the Dodgers, Padres, Astros and Brewers, before pitching for six teams between 2014 and 2015, including the Mariners, D’backs, Marlins, Orioles, Angels, Blue Jays, and Tigers.
Despite spending time with 12 of 30 organizations, Wolf will always be best known for his time in Philadelphia. Wolf was never a top pitcher while in Philadelphia, but he was consistent above all else, making 30-plus starts for the Phillies in three different seasons. The best year of his career also came in Philly in 2002, when Wolf finished with a 3.20 ERA and 4.0 fWAR in 31 starts for the Phillies. Wolf nearly matched that success in 2009 with the Dodgers, when he finished the season with a 3.23 ERA in over 200 innings across 34 starts.
Never known for his power on the mound, Wolf sported four- and two-seam fastballs that usually sat in the upper 80s or low 90s. Beyond that, Wolf threw a cutter, a slider, changeup, and sweeping curveball that usually only reached the upper 60s or low 70s. Wolf was never much of a strikeout pitcher, but he did rack up his share of strikeouts along with his talent for getting lots of fly balls.
Wolf finishes his career with a record of 133-125, an ERA of 4.24 and 1,814 total strikeouts. Wolf will never be mistaken for a Hall of Famer, but he was a notable pitcher over the better part of the last fifteen years. Wolf made only one All-Star appearance, in 2003, but he will be remembered by many, like myself, who first got into baseball in the 21st century. Wolf was never the best pitcher, but he always seemed to work as hard, if not harder, than everyone else out there. Also being able to get away with throwing the ball 49 MPH in a Major League Baseball game is quite a feat.
Thanks for the memories Randy, and all the best in your future endeavors.