J.A. Happ Announces Retirement

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Veteran pitcher J.A. Happ has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. A longtime journeyman southpaw, he most recently pitched for the Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals in 2021. The announcement came during Happ’s May 26 appearance on the Heart Strong Podcast with Jessica Lindberg. However, it was not widely reported until Tuesday. Over a 15-year career, Happ pitched for eight different teams. He established a reputation as a reliable lefty starter, winning 133 career games and a 2008 World Series ring with his first team, the Philadelphia Phillies. His lone All-Star nod came in 2018.

J.A. Happ Retirement – A Career Retrospective

Happ started one game with the Phillies in 2007, before pitching to a 3.69 ERA in eight appearances in 2008. In the NLCS that year, he pitched three innings, enough to earn him a World Series ring following the Phils’ victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. His four-year tenure in Philly was followed by parts of three years with the Houston Astros, then parts of three more with the Toronto Blue Jays. After splitting time between the Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015, Happ returned to Toronto the next year. 2016 was a career year for Happ. Despite being snubbed for the All-Star team, he pitched to a stellar 20–4 record. He had a 3.18 ERA, a 1.169 WHIP, and 163 strikeouts. In the process, he helped the Blue Jays to a wild card berth. The terrific season earned Happ a sixth-place finish in Cy Young voting.

 

Happ’s Numbers

Two years later, Happ had another excellent record at 17–6 and made the AL All-Star team. He was traded midseason to the New York Yankees, where he would remain through 2020. He was brilliant in the latter half of 2018 with New York, going 7–0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts. Upon his retirement, Happ finishes with a 133–100 record, a 4.13 ERA, a 1.315 WHIP, and 1,661 career strikeouts. Along with the ring and All-Star appearance, another noteworthy moment in his career was a second-place finish for 2009 Rookie of the Year, his first full season. Chris Coghlan of the then-Florida Marlins beat him out. All those highlights, along with getting over halfway to 3,000 strikeouts, add up to a very respectable career for J.A. Happ. Lasting 15 years in the majors will allow anyone to make a name for himself.

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Players Mentioned:

J.A. Happ, Chris Coghlan