7/31/2014 10:47 P.M. ET
Chavez retires rather than push ailing knee
Third baseman most proud of six Gold Glove Awards in 17-season career
By Adam Lichtenstein / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- After a career hampered by back injuries, it was a degenerative knee condition that pushed Eric Chavez into retirement.
The veteran third baseman officially announced the end of his career on Wednesday after 17 years in the Major Leagues with the A's, Yankees and D-backs.
"If you look at all the injuries I had, it's a miracle that I played for 17 years," Chavez said.
"I've honestly been thinking about it for the last three years. Every offseason, after the season had ended, I went back home and kind of had evaluated where I was at mentally and physically, and I knew that if I got the itch to start working out and preparing myself for the next season, I probably was going to play."
Chavez said before he went on the disabled list on June 9 that his left knee had been causing him pain before the season even began. With each update from manager Kirk Gibson, his chances of returning this season grew fainter.
"This year, with the knee, I think physically, what the doctors had told me, for me to keep grinding on my knee was not going to be the best option for me to do," he said.
The knee injury relegated Chavez to a part-time role, and he rarely saw the field. But when he did, he still provided the solid defense that led to him winning six Gold Glove Awards at third base -- tied for fourth most all-time behind Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt and Scott Rolen, and tied with Buddy Bell and Robin Ventura.
"The six Gold Gloves probably mean the most," Chavez said, when asked about his personal achievements. "Early on in my career, they said I was a 'all-hit, no-glove' kind of guy.
"I think guys now, they're like, 'Hey, Chavvy can roll out of bed and hit,' but defense wasn't always like that for me. I really had to work for everything I did to become a good defensive third baseman."
Gibson, who retired in the middle of the 1995 season, said he could relate to Chavez.
"We respect his decision to decide that it's time for him to move to a different chapter in his life, actually a bigger game than he's played his whole life. He doesn't know it yet, but he's going to find out.
"I know what it's like when you're trying to get out of bed every day and it hurts and it hurts."
Chavez even joked about his now-former manager's knee issues when he mentioned part of the reason for retiring was to make sure he didn't permanently damage his knee.
"I had to start looking towards the future. I see guys with bad knees walking around, and I'm like, 'Oh, I don't want to be that guy,'" he said. "You look at Gibby running around, and you're like, 'Oh, man. He's pretty beat up.'"
Chavez retires with a .268 career average, 1,477 hits, 260 home runs and 902 RBIs in 1,615 games.
Kieschnick, Marte called up to bolster roster
PHOENIX -- After dealing Gerardo Parra to the Brewers and Martin Prado to the Yankees at the Trade Deadline, the D-backs called up outfielder Roger Kieschnick and infielder Andy Marte to take their places on the roster.
Despite being a former top-10 prospect according to Baseball America, Marte has not played a Major League game since 2010. In his limited big league time, he struggled with the Braves and Indians, batting .218 with 20 home runs in 302 games.
However, Marte has crushed the ball while playing at Triple-A in the Angels' and D-backs' systems the past two seasons. With Reno this year, he was hitting .330 with 13 home runs and a .898 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
General manager Kevin Towers said Marte will be part of a platoon system at third with Prado gone. Also getting some time at the position will be Jordan Pacheco, who was in the starting lineup for Thursday's game, and Cliff Pennington, who is making his way back from a left thumb injury.
"For right now, [Pacheco] will be," Towers said when asked who would be the starting third baseman. "Penny's kind of a jack of all trade … but Penny would be a guy who may see some time at third.
"Andy Marte's put together a great Triple-A season and plays solid defense, so we've got some solid internal options."
Manager Kirk Gibson said he would work out a plan for the position in the coming days.
"The team's obviously changed with the personnel," Gibson said, "Looking forward from tomorrow … I'll have a better idea. It's something I want to think out."
Kieschnick has split his time this season between the Major League roster and Triple-A Reno and will primarily be a reserve outfielder.
In his limited time with the D-backs this year, Kieschnick has hit .207 (6-for-29) with one home run.
• Manager Kirk Gibson said shortstop Chris Owings is getting close to taking swings and has been fielding ground balls and throwing as he recovers from a left shoulder injury.
"I'm encouraged that he seems like he's going to be moving towards getting back to us," Gibson said.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.