10 questions with former Tigers, Angels, Giants pitcher Shane Loux

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 16: Shane Loux #61 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 16, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 16: Shane Loux #61 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 16, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Former right-handed pitcher Shane Loux took quite the journey throughout his professional baseball career. Drafted in the second round of the 1997 by the Detroit Tigers, Loux wound up debuting as a starting pitcher as a member of the Tigers in 2002. He appeared in a total of 14 games in Detroit split between 2002 and 2003, ultimately putting up a 7.71 ERA in 44 innings, walking and striking out 15 batters each.

After a lengthy absence from a Major League mound while battling injuries and bouncing around between minor league clubs, Loux finally found himself back on the mound, this time as a member of the Los Angeles Angels bullpen. Things went better for the right-hander in 2008, as he had a 2.81 ERA in seven relief appearances. The next season (2009) saw him return to a starter’s role and while his 5.68 ERA does not jump off of the page, he had just a 4.52 FIP and a very nice home run rate per nine innings (or HR/9) at 0.6.

Another multi-year absence for Shane Loux between 2009 and 2012 ultimately ended in a World Series ring for the then-32-year-old. Loux was a member of the San Francisco Giants, appearing exclusively out of their bullpen to decent results. He appeared in 19 contests, pitching 25.1 innings with a 4.99 FIP and a lower WHIP and H/9 than he had had in years.

Shane Loux ultimately finished his professional baseball career as a member of the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters after rehabbing from his second-career Tommy John surgery that he underwent at the end of the 2013 season. Loux announced his retirement from the game in July of 2015.

I recently had the chance to chat with World Series champ and former Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, and San Francisco Giants pitcher Shane Loux. Let’s dive in.

Q1: You were a member of the World Series-winning San Francisco Giants in 2012. Did you receive a ring at the end of the season? If so, do you have it on display loud and proud?

I do have a ring and it is amazing. I was very blessed to play for San Francisco and have a small part in the 2012 season and think about those days often. I have the ring displayed in my house for all to see, along with a few other very special things from my career.

Q2: In 2005, you did not make a professional appearance in any capacity. Was this a choice that you made, to sit out for a season?

In September of 2004, I had Tommy John surgery after blowing out my elbow when I was with the Toledo Mud Hens that season and spent the entire 2005 season as a free agent rehabbing in Arizona. It was a tough year that taught me a lot about life and what I really should be focused on. It ended up being a blessing for sure.

Q3: You announced your retirement from the game back in 2015. Was this an easy decision for you? Are/were you at peace with that call?

I was in Sugar Land, Texas, and having the time of my life playing baseball again in 2015. I was pitching well and was truly enjoying every day I was able to go to the ballpark and be with my teammates, but preparing and recovering daily was getting harder and harder. There was one day after a start when I didn’t feel like doing anything, let alone the minimum work that I knew needed to be done, but I did it anyway. The next day, I was sitting in front of my locker thinking about how much I had overcome to get to that point in my life and in my career. I reminded myself about a friend of mine who was still trying battle injuries and free agency to hang on in the game and it was costing him a lot. He wouldn’t accept that his career was over and it was on the verge of costing him everything, including his family. As I sat in front of my locker, I refused to let that be me, so I stood up and walked into the manager’s office and told him that my next start would be my last. I had made the immediate decision to retire and go out on my own terms and be at peace the rest of my life. It was the best decision I have ever made.

Q4: Throughout your minor league career, you were able to amass a total of 10 base hits. Do you remember any or all of the pitchers who gave them up?

I remember my first double in 2010 in Round Rock, Texas. I hit it off the top of the wall in right center and I thought it was gone off the bat. I can’t remember the dude’s name, but I know he made it to the big leagues because I saw him on TV a year later and told everyone that would listen about that hit. I remember my only MLB at-bat in San Francisco against Oakland in 2012 and remember thinking there was no way I was going to get cheated in case I never got another chance to hit. I popped out and never got another chance to hit.

Q5: Across your 17-season career, what was your favorite MLB and minor league city/ballpark to play in? I’d imagine over the years you have had the opportunity to see every corner of this country.

I loved San Francisco as a visitor and even more as a home player. I also enjoyed Seattle quite a lot. I always loved big cities and all the action that they provided. My favorite minor league city was probably Las Vegas or Nashville for the exact same reason, there was always something to do or something going on. I always got up early and walked around as much as I could. In my later years, I rented cars in most cities to really get out and explore.

Q6: Who is the funniest teammate you have ever had?

A couple of my favorite teammates were Brian “Tito” Fuentes in Anaheim and Brandon Inge in Detroit. They were both great for very different reasons, most of which I can not discuss. Brandon and I got along so well in our younger days because we’re both so crazy and willing to try or do anything and he was a great partner in crime. Tito was different because we were both older at that point in our careers and he was just so good at keeping things loose. Tyler LaTorre and Daryl Maday and I are still friends to this day and are close because of our experiences together in the minor leagues.

Q7: Across your career, who was your favorite catcher to pitch to? I’m assuming every pitcher has that one backstop who stands out above the rest.

My buddy Tyler LaTorre and I always worked well together and he did a good job of getting the most out of me, but my favorite catcher would have to be Brandon Inge because of what he brought to the table defensively. He was able to consistently throw pop times in the 1.80 range so nobody ever ran and was a blocking machine. He made me more at ease throwing the ball over the plate with runners on base because of what he could do.

Q8: In your opinion, who is the most exciting young player to watch in today’s game? Can be a pitcher or position player or both!

My son and I both love Fernando Tatis Jr. He has it all, the talent and the flare. He is exciting and does a nice job of being uniquely himself, which the game of today misses sometimes.

Q9: What’s it like to see yourself in a video game? I know for a fact that you were in an installment or two for MLB 2K back in the day as well as some of the Out of the Park Baseball games.

I loved being in video games. I loved that my friends could play as me anytime they wanted. I still think it’s cool. In fact, I refuse to get rid of my old PlayStation so I can show my son. I wish my son could experience it these days with the newer games as he gets older and into that sort of thing.

Q10: You’ve been selected as one of the writers that gets a ballot to vote for this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. Who, if anyone, are you voting for if given the chance?

I would vote for the absolute best players the game has to offer. My list would include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez. I know there is controversy surrounding a ton of those guys, but I got to see some of them play live and in person and they were the best by far and the best deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

Next. 10 questions with Boston Red Sox pitcher Geoff Hartlieb. dark

Thank you so much to former Tigers, Angels, Giants and World Series champion, pitcher Shane Loux for taking the time to chat with me. Shane is part of the sixth installment of “10 Questions With” that I’ve started. With multiple former and current players in the queue, what kind of questions would you like to see asked to a current or former big leaguer?