Ben Rowen was a professional baseball player for nearly 12 years after being selected by the Texas Rangers in the 22nd round of the 2010 amateur draft. After bouncing around various Minor League rosters and even briefly retiring in 2018, he found himself with the Los Angeles Angels in 2021.
The 33-year old submarine righty didn’t have a prolific MLB career, pitching just 23.0 innings at the big league level over three stints with the Angels, Rangers, and Milwaukee Brewers.
However, his knowledge of the game was seen league-wide, and it’s why the Halos decided to give him a role in the front office after just eight appearances on the mound with the team.
Rowen is now an advanced scout, retiring just four weeks after the end of the 2021 regular season. He spoke about the difficult decision to move away from playing, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“If you think about it logically, the pros and cons, it’s a smart deal,” said Rowen, now an advance scout for the Angels. “If you’re more thinking about it with your heart, you still have a chance to put on the jersey and go out there and lace up and compete with the world. … It’s a really hard opportunity to pass up.”
What makes the transition easier for Rowen is that — despite his role being directly with the front office — he’ll be around the team every day, working as both a scout and a development coach for Angels pitchers. Rowen called it the “next best thing” to playing.
“As a player, I wanted to be in there and one of the (26),” Rowen said. “But I think this is the next best thing. Just to be right there in the everyday thick of it, I think I’m going to find that competitiveness and that passion for it right away.”
As the 2022 season begins, it will be interesting to see just how involved Rowen is on a day-to-day basis. Despite a 5.56 ERA in 2021, Rowen’s submarine mechanics made him a interesting change of pace out of the bullpen. Perhaps he’ll be able to impart valuable wisdom for young Angels relievers like Austin Warren.
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