Former Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Karstens has retired at age 32, according to a post on his social media pages.
— Jeff Karstens (@karstens27) May 4, 2015
“Just would like to give a huge thank you to all my family, friends, teammates, and coaches for all the support you’ve giving me on and off the field over the years,” he said in his post. “I will forever cherish all of the special moments and memories.”
Karstens was acquired by the Pirates in the 2008 trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the New York Yankees. He pitched in parts of five seasons with the Pirates from 2008 to 2012.
As a soft-throwing, right-handed pitcher, he was known as a technician on the mound, frequently performing at a higher rate than his natural talent level would suggest.
His most notable performance as a Pirate was undoubtedly in his first season with the club, when he took a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 6, 2008 in his second start as a Pirate.
His best season was 2011, when he went 9-9 and had a 3.38 ERA in 162.1 innings. He finished his career with a 26-40 record, 330 strikeouts and a 4.44 ERA.
In 2013, the Pirates signed him to a one-year contract, but he never made an appearance with the team, pitching for the team’s minor-league affiliates in Altoona and Bradenton before being shut down with season-ending rotator cuff and labrum surgeries.
Injuries frequently derailed Karstens, as he appeared in over 30 games just once in his seven-year MLB career. He did not pitch in 2014.
Photo credit: Pittsburgh Pirates