WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Indians reliever Mark Wohlers has
decided to take this season off for personal reasons, which could
signal the end of his career.
The right-hander did not participate in spring training this
year, and the Indians said Saturday he would miss the season.
Wohlers had surgery on his right elbow in March 2003 and missed
the season except for pitching 1 2/3 innings at Double-A Akron in
May on a rehabilitation assignment.
In his second outing at Akron, he tore the tendon graft in his
elbow from a previous elbow surgery in 1999. He had the same
procedure performed in August.
Wohlers went 3-4 with seven saves and a 4.79 ERA in his first
season with the Indians in 2002.
The 34-year-old Wohlers has a career record of 39-29 with 119
saves and a 3.97 ERA.
For three years with Atlanta in the mid-1990s, he was one of the
top closers, saving 97 games. He saved the Braves' clinching win
over Cleveland in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series.
In 1998, after saving 33 games the previous season, Wohlers
suddenly lost the ability to throw strikes. He walked 33 in 20 1/3
innings with a 10.18 ERA for the Braves and was sent to the minors,
where he got worse. He walked 36 and had 17 wild pitches in 12 1/3
innings with a 20.43 ERA at Triple-A Richmond.
Traded to Cincinnati in 1999, he was treated for an anxiety
disorder and had elbow surgery that year, but began a comeback the
following season with the Reds.
He split the 2001 season between the Reds and New York Yankees
before signing with Cleveland as a free agent in 2002.