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Former Pirates starter Jeff Karstens retires

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Former Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Karstens writes that he has retired.

#HanginEmUp Just would like to give a huge thank you to all my family, friends, teammates, and coaches for all the support you've giving me on and off the field over the years. I will forever cherish all of the special moments and memories. #ThankYou

I'll remember Karstens fondly. He arrived in the then-controversial Xavier Nady trade in 2008 and was a not-especially-gifted member of some not-especially-gifted Pirates teams, but he frequently seemed to get more out of his modest stuff than he ought to have been able to, and there were times when he and his 88-MPH fastballs seemed to be the best things the Pirates' rotation had to offer. His best season came in 2011, which was the first time since 1997 the Pirates really contended. That team fell apart completely, of course, but Karstens was a big reason why we got to watch relevant Bucs games in July that year, and I have good memories of the 2011 team because it anticipated what happened two years later, when the Pirates finally really were good.

Anyway, Karstens' career quickly unraveled due to shoulder problems, and so now he's calling it quits at 32. Best of luck to him in the next phase of his life.