One day after lefty and all around good guy Bruce Chen announced his retirement, veteran shortstop Rafael Furcal announced his retirement. Both came up through the Atlanta minor league system.
Furcal was one of the best shortstops in the game, until injuries wreaked havoc on his career.
Furcal signed a minor league deal with the KC Royals this offseason and spent the month of April rehabbing. He joined High-A Wilmington on Friday, May 8th and made his debut with the Blue Rocks, 15 years since the last time he played in the Carolina League (1999 with Myrtle Beach when the two teams shared the CL title).
In his first game, he went 2-for-4. Overall, he went 3-for-16 in four games (playing both shortstop and second base). I had the chance to see him play once and he really struggled trying to hit the fastball (he was late on everything). The speed he used to showcase was also gone, due to his age and hamstring issues. However, having him in the clubhouse was great for the Blue Rocks, especially to young infielders Jack Lopez and Ramon Torres.
Furcal then moved up quickly to Double-A NW Arkansas, where he played in three games (3-for-9 with two RBIs). On Monday, it was announced that he had been promoted to Triple-A Omaha.
Maybe he didn’t want to go to Omaha?
Apparently, the hamstrings began acting up and Furcal decided to call it quits.
Furcal was always a favorite of mine, dating back to his days as a Myrtle Beach Pelican. I wish him the best of luck in whatever he chooses to do next. I am thinking he would make a good coach.