ST. PAUL, MN (July 27, 2012) – He hoped this season would be different. He came in 15 pounds lighter in hopes of not putting so much strain on his body. Unfortunately, for St. Paul Saints outfielder Shane Costa his most recent injury, a partially torn hamstring, has forced him to retire.
The 30-year-old Costa was hitting .264 with RBI in 33 games this season. In 125 at bats he scored 14 runs, had four doubles, with a .361 on base percentage and a .296 slugging percentage. Costa’s final professional game came on June 28 in Wichita when he left the game with the hamstring injury. He was placed on the disabled list on June 30.
“Shane has been a tremendous hitter and leader for us the last couple of seasons,” said Saints manager George Tsamis. “He was hurt last season, yet came back during the final two weeks of the season and in our biggest game on the final night of the regular season he wound up with four hits and helped get us in the playoffs. It’s unfortunate the injuries cost him valuable playing time during his career.”
Costa hit .333 with one homer and 23 RBI in 45 games last season. In 171 at bats he scored 25 runs, had 12 doubles, one triple, a .431 on base percentage and a .433 slugging percentage. He battled injuries during the season, missing two weeks in late May and early June with a hamstring injury and nearly two months from June until August with a wrist injury. Costa collected a career high five hits and a franchise single-season tying high three doubles on May 27 at Kansas City, the same city he played parts of three Major League seasons.
“My time with the Saints is something I will always remember,” said Costa. “George gave me the opportunity to continue my career and the fans, my teammates and the organization were great to work with.”
Costa was a second round draft pick of the Royals in the 2003 June Amateur Draft and didn’t take long to reach the Major Leagues, doing so in 2005. He hit .235 with two homers and seven RBI in 27 games for the Royals. He hit his first Major League home run off of Jeff Weaver of the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 14 at Kauffman Stadium.
In 2006 he broke camp with the Royals and spent 75 games with the big club hitting .274 with three homers and 23 RBI. In 237 at bats he scored 23 runs, ripped 20 doubles, one triple, with a .304 on base percentage and a .405 slugging percentage.
Costa got his final taste of the Major Leagues in 2007 when he was called up to the Royals at the beginning of May and hit .223 with no homers and 12 RBI in 55 games.
Perhaps the most impressive career stat for Costa is the lack of strikeouts. In 2338 at bats he’s fanned just 257 times while never striking out more than 54 times in any one season.
The Saints roster stands at a league maximum 22 players, 10 pitchers and 12 position players with one player on the disabled list and two on the inactive list.