Tim Dillard, the 37 year old righthanded pitcher who spent parts of a few seasons in the majors, but who toiled for most of his career in the minor leagues, announced his retirement from playing on Twitter yesterday.
Dillard spent most of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers organization, but was signed by the Texas Rangers as a minor league free agent for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons. We normally wouldn’t do a whole post about the retirement of a journeyman minor leaguer, even one who was recently with the Rangers (I just saw on B-R he was apparently released by the Rangers last month), but Dillard isn’t your garden variety journeyman pitcher.
Dillard, drafted twice by the Milwaukee Brewers (in the 15th round in 2001 and in the 34th round in 2002), spent parts of the 2008-09 and 2011-12 seasons in the majors, logging a 4.70 ERA in 84.1 IP over 73 games, but otherwise has been a AAA fixture since 2007. He spent parts of 13 seasons in AAA, most recently for Nashville with the Rangers in 2019, making 351 appearances and carving out a role as the rubber-armed veteran who can be called upon to do whatever the team needs whenever it is needed. He is also known as one of the really funny and interesting characters in the game, and for doing videos he sounds out on social media that has led to him developing a cult following (he has over 47,000 Twitter followers as I am typing this).
He teases at the end of the announcement that “who knows...perhaps I’ll have some big news COMING SOON!”, so I’m guessing he is leaving playing the game for an opportunity to do something media-related off-the-field. So we’ll keep an eye out on that, and in the meantime, congratulate him for a long career playing the game for a living.