The Los Angeles Angels completely reshaped their bullpen in the days before the season began. One of the moves that may have come as a surprise to some was optioning Ty Buttrey to the Minor Leagues.
Buttrey was one of the Angels best bullpen arms in 2019. However, his consistency slipped in 2020 and he was unable to get it back during Spring Training. After he was optioned, it was revealed that he would not report to the alternate training site as he needed some time away from the game.
Shortly thereafter, Buttrey took to social media to announce that he would be retiring from the game of baseball. He posted the decision via his Instagram, explaining the nuance behind an unexpected choice.
Buttrey made it clear that the choice to retire was completely separate from being optioned, and that it likely would have happened this way even if he had made the roster. At just 28 years of age, it’s possible he still had more left in the tank on the talent side.
However, he said that the decision was completely personal, as he no longer loved the game of baseball the way he once did. In his post, he explains that the longer he played, the more he felt he was doing it just to prove he could and not because he thoroughly enjoyed it. Put simply, he wanted to be known as “just Ty,” without the pitcher label beside it.
For fans, it’s always hard to see a very good player walk away at such a young age. But Buttrey did what he felt was right for him, a decision that everyone can respect and appreciate.
Buttrey spent three seasons with the Angels major league team, pitching a total of 115.0 innings. He finishes his career with an ERA of 4.30, 122 strikeouts, and just 37 walks.
Joe Maddon offers support for Buttrey’s decision
After Buttrey officially retired, Angels manager Joe Maddon offered his full support for the former pitcher, according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:
“Just want to honor his wishes. Let’s see what happens down the road,” Maddon said Friday, “and try to be there for him as an ear, too.
“He and I have a great relationship. We texted and talked in the offseasons, even before my first year here. So we’ve had good conversations. So, at some point, I thought maybe he would reach out to me. Otherwise, I will reach out to him.”