Lonnie Chisenhall is retiring after eight MLB seasons. As reported by J.J. Smith of the Carteret County News-Times, the former Indians third baseman/outfielder discussed his decision while attending a jersey dedication ceremony in his honor at his former middle school in Newport, North Carolina.
“I’ve only played 29 games in the past two years. So between that, and I have three kids at home, they are all in school, traveling around the country wasn’t practical anymore. It was a pretty easy decision,” Chisenhall said during a question-and-answer portion of the assembly with Newport Middle School students.
The 31-year-old hangs up his cleats after 688 Major League games, all with Cleveland from 2011-18. Chisenhall was a highly-touted young player, drafted 29th overall by the Indians in 2008 and given high placements (31st in 2010, 25th in 2011) on Baseball America’s top-100 prospect lists. Unfortunately, injuries were a constant presence in Chisenhall’s career and perhaps prevented him from fully living up to that top-prospect status, though he still managed to be a productive player over his eight seasons.
Chisenhall hit .268/.320/.427 with 64 home runs over 2360 career plate appearances, good for a 102 OPS+ and wRC+. Most of that success came against right-handed pitching for the lefty-swinging Chisenhall, though he produced good numbers against both lefties and righties over his final two seasons, which saw him post an .872 OPS over 365 PA while battling numerous injuries.
The most notable of those injuries was a series of nagging calf problems that, ultimately, brought an end to Chisenhall’s career. As he noted while talking to Newport’s students, he was limited to only 29 MLB games in 2018 and then didn’t appear at all in the big leagues last season, playing just seven games with the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate after signing a one-year, $2.75MM deal with Pittsburgh last offseason.
MLB Trade Rumors wishes Chisenhall congratulations on a fine career, and wishes him well in his post-playing endeavors.