Triple-A Toledo manager Phil Nevin was caught off guard by a unique announcement on Wednesday evening after the Mud Hens' game, as 25-year-old left-handed reliever Austin Wood made the shocking decision to retire from the Tigers organization.
A 5th round pick by the Tigers in 2009, Wood came to the pro level as a notable college arm after throwing 12.1 innings of one-hit ball in a game that eventually went on to be the longest in NCAA history (25 innings). A shoulder injury kept him out for most of 2010, but the lefty responded with a strong 3.16 ERA the following year in Double-A and looked to coming along.
After another similar campaign in Erie in 2011, Wood's call-up to Toledo this season did not see him achieve the same level of success, and he struggled mightily to find a role in the bullpen. Even though Baseball America rated Wood as having the best control in Detroit Tigers system after the 2009 season, he clearly feels that his time as a baseball player has come to an end.