Former Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur announces his retirement
Former Chicago Cubs outfielder/bench bat Matt Szczur announced his retirement from professional baseball on Twitter Monday morning. Szczur, 32, was a fifth-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2010 out of Villanova University. He played with the Cubs from 2014-2017, and had since bounced around between the Padres, Diamondbacks, Phillies and Cardinals organizations. He hadn’t appeared in a big league game since back in 2018.
With his career in baseball over, he will continue to work on his art projects and focus on his family.
A solid bench piece for the Cubs, Matt Szczur deserves some props
Szczur appeared in 202 games with the Cubs from 2014-2017, mainly as a bench outfielder/pinch-hitter. As a Cub he slashed .243/.295/.370 with eight homers, 40 RBI and 17 doubles. He played all three outfield positions, but a majority of them came in left. He also pinch-hit 95 times over that span.
In 2016 he slashed .259/.312/.400 with a career-best five home runs and 48 hits for the eventual World Series champion Cubs. With Kyle Schwarber missing all but the first few games of the 2016 regular season, he came in handy and got the opportunity to play more than likely anticipated. Probably his most memorable moment was coming into a game late and hitting a grand slam in the eighth inning against the Braves on April 29 of that year. That helped cap off a 17-5 start on the season.
After a not-so-great start to the year, Szczur was dealt to the Padres on May 8, 2017 for right-hander Justin Hancock, ending his tenure in Chicago. He appeared in 161 games for the Friars from 2017-2018, hitting .215/.332/.335 with four home runs. After stints with the Diamondbacks and Phillies organizations, he played his final professional season last year with the Cardinals organization in Triple-A.
Szczur finishes his MLB career with a .231/.312/.355 slash, 12 home runs, 31 doubles and 61 RBI in 363 games.
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Szczur was a nice piece for the Cubs in 2016. The need to fill in and pinch-hit made a positive impact for the club. He slashed a respectable .261/.306/.326 as a PH that year, and made a lot of his time starting games. Even if he did not play in the postseason, he should be remembered for his contributions to the Cubs during that historic season.