Scott Oberg announces his retirement from playing

Scott Oberg announces his retirement from playing

clay jug Scott Oberg led to Instagram today to announce that he will no longer pursue a return to the mound. “I have accepted a part-time position with the Rockies and will no longer be following the game that I have loved my entire life as a player,” Oberg said in the post. He continues to thank the many people in his life who have helped him on his journey over the years. Danielle Allentuck of the Denver Gazette reports that Oberg will be a special assistant to the Rockies’ baseball operations.

Oberg, now 32, was selected by the Rockies in the 15th round of the 2012 draft and reached the big leagues in 2015. His first three seasons in Colorado featured subpar strikeout rates, but he hit big of ground balls. From 2015 to 2017, he posted a 5.05 ERA while striking out 18.7% of the batters he faced, but hit worm burners on 55.6% of balls in play.

The next two seasons saw Oberg take a big step forward as he added jabs to his repertoire. In 2018 and 2019, he threw 114 2/3 frames with a 2.35 ERA, a number that would be impressive anywhere, but especially so for a pitcher who calls Coors Field home. He struck out 25.5% of the batters he faced in that time, while still hitting 52.7% of grounders. Based on that strong performance, the Rockies gave him a three-year, $13 million extension with a club option for 2023.

Unfortunately, Oberg began a tumultuous stretch that saw him deal with multiple health issues that have kept him from taking the mound ever since. The main issue has been blood clots in his right arm, which first sidelined him and led to surgery in 2016. He was sent to the disabled list in August 2019, which lead to another surgery and the end of that strong season. That didn’t deter the Rockies from accepting that extension, and Oberg appeared poised to return to action in 2020 until the problem resurfaced, landing him on the short-season disabled list and putting him back on the the surgeon’s table.

In addition to the blood clots, he also required surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in September of that year. The surgery was expected to treat the chronic blood clots in the elbow, but that didn’t prove to be the case. Allentuck relayed a harrowing story from March 2021 where clotting symptoms reappeared and a trainer couldn’t feel a pulse in his wrist. Oberg then spent the night in the ICU and had surgery the next morning, the fourth time he had to go under the knife for the problem.

While he didn’t pitch for the Rockies that year, he served the team in other ways, doing some scouting and coaching throughout the organization. He also did not return to the mound in 2022, and the Rockies declined his 2023 option at the end of the season.

Oberg has been transitioning into post-acting roles for some time now, as mentioned, but his announcement today makes it official that his playing days are over. Although health issues prevented him from capitalizing on a strong momentum, he still managed to appear in 259 major league games, racking up 234 strikeouts along the way. He finishes his career with a 3.85 ERA in 257 1/3 innings. MLBTR congratulates him on his achievements and wishes him the best in his future endeavors.

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