After eight years with the Cleveland Indians, Lonnie Chisenhall has decided to hang up his cleats and focus on being a family man.
He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates heading into last season though spent the entire year on the injured list. He was trying to work his way back from a lingering calf injury but was unable to rehab without further soreness.
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Chisenhall was originally drafted out of high school by the Pirates in the 11th round but chose not to sign, instead of attending Pitt Community College. Two years later the Indians selected him in the first round.
Chisenhall hit .280 with 13 home runs in 2014, playing in 142 games, arguably his best year. In 2017 Chisenhall put up decent numbers hitting .288 with 12 home runs, but injuries limited him to 82 games. He will finish as a .268 hitter with 64 career homers and 296 runs batted in.
A third baseman by trade Chisenhall also found time in the outfield and played a handful of games at first base. He played error free ball in the 82 games he played in 2017 and was considered a steady defensive player.
Chisenhall will return to his native North Carolina and will resume the role of full-time father to his three children. The baseball schedule can be grueling at times and the travel for eight-plus months takes its toll on players. Hats off to Lonnie for wanting to spend more time with his family.
Lonnie Chisenhall will not garner any Hall of Fame votes when the times comes for his name to appear on the ballot. He was not a star but he was a blue-collar worker who carved out a nice Major League career.
There will always be room in the game of baseball for serviceable fielders who put the bat on the ball and find a few holes.