Three Pirates Minor Leaguers Retire Over the Off-Season

The Pittsburgh Pirates had three minor league players retire from baseball over the off-season. We were just able to confirm the last one yesterday, but all of the players were missing from the minor league rosters for Spring Training, so they weren’t recent decisions.

Infielder Michael Gretler, pitcher Drew Fischer and catcher Marshall Gilbert have retired. All three were draft picks over the last three years, with Fischer being drafted in the 35th round in 2017, Gretler going in the tenth round in 2018 and Gilbert getting picked in the 29th round last year.

Fischer looked like he was turning into a possible late round gem early last year, until an arm injury ended his season in May. He threw shutout ball in April and didn’t allow a run until his final inning. During the April outings, he was hitting 97 MPH. He struck out 87 batters in 81 innings as a pro.

Gretler had a tough year in 2019, beginning the season in Bradenton, before a slow start led to a demotion to Greensboro. He didn’t do much better there, finishing with a .604 OPS. Gretler played well in Morgantown in 2018 after the draft, and the Pirates liked him enough that they drafted him two years in a row.

Gilbert played just 16 games last year at Bristol, posting a .545 OPS, with a high strikeout rate. He was drafted as a catcher, but also saw some time at first base and third base. He signed late last year due to his team being in the College World Series, so his time in pro ball was very brief.