After beginning his comeback with the Stone Crabs last season, Rocco Baldelli formally announced his retirement yesterday at Tropicana Field. Baldelli will remain with the organization as a special assistant to baseball operations.
Baldelli was drafted by the Rays in the first round of the 2000 draft and played most of his career with the organization. He quickly advanced through the minor league system and was a big league regular by 2003. However injuries and a diagnosis of mitochondrial disorder appeared to ended his career, walking away from playing in 2009 as a member of the Red Sox.
Baldelli returned to the organization in 2010 as a roving minor league instructor and worked with the outfielders. On July 19, 2010 he announced his return to professional baseball and made his debut with the Stone Crabs. Baldelli would play 12 games with the Stone Crabs before a promotion to Durham and then he made his return to the major leagues on September 1. He would remain on the Rays roster until the ALCS when he suffered another setback due to his condition and was removed from the roster prompting him to later announce his retirement.
You can read more about the press conference and Rocco’s comments on Rays.com.