Clayton Richard is the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month for June

 

Clayton Richard has been one of the big reclamation projects for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, and his transformation has been well documented on this site. He worked with Jim Benedict to create a new delivery based off the way he throws a football from his old quarterbacking days at the University of Michigan. The change has led to some good results so far, as Richard continues to get more comfortable with the new mechanics.

The results were strong during the month of June, as Richard posted a 1.62 ERA in 33.1 innings, with a 14:5 K/BB ratio. That was good enough to make him the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month. The performance might also be opening a few eyes around the league, which could lead to an important decision on Richard soon.

According to Nathan Baird, Richard has a clause in his deal that started on Tuesday. Any team can sign him away from the Pirates and add him to their active roster. The Pirates would then have 72 hours to eitherย put Richard on their active roster, or release him and let him sign with the other team. This is the same situation as the Jason Grilli situation a few years ago, when the Pirates signed their future closer away from the Phillies.

Considering all of the work the Pirates have put in with Richard, it would only make sense for them to call him up if another team was interested. The bonus for them is that if he works out, he would be under control for one more season, giving them a starting pitching or bullpen option in 2016.

Pitchers of the Month by Level

Indianapolis – Clayton Richard, LHP (1.62 ERA, 14:5 K/BB, 33.1 IP)

Altoona – Matt Benedict, RHP (3.09 ERA, 11:8 K/BB, 35 IP)

Bradenton – Montana DuRapau, RHP (0.52 ERA, 13:0 K/BB, 17.1 IP)

West Virginia – Stephen Tarpley, LHP (3.60 ERA, 23:9 K/BB, 25.0 IP)

  • Call the Brewers and offer them Richard and Pedro for Lind.

  • I’ll say it again, if the pirates were as good at fixing hitters as they are at fixing pitchers they would hardly ever lose. (No they are not terrible with hitters, the difference between hitting and pitching progression is however very stark.)

  • I like Bucs Dugout’s article on him. Spells out very well why Richard should not be on the Bucs radar.

    It will be interesting if some other team wants him in this 72 hour period. If nobody wants him, that will be fairly telling. If some team does, I’d get everything I could for him.

    He is Zach Duke, Pt 2.

  • Tim, who would go down? Scahill to 60 day? trade?

  • piraterican21
    July 1, 2015 5:53 pm

    This is sad

  • Yeah, count me confused as to why he’d make a ton of sense. Never really had success in the bigs, still not generating many Ks and really just depth for me. Certainly not a better option than Locke for the rotation, and no real place to put him in the pen.

    • I don’t know about “certainly”. The bar is not all that high.

      • Lukas Sutton
        July 2, 2015 1:05 am

        Im confident with how i put it, he certainly isnt a better option. He might be able to be Locke-like, but he’s never been better than a 5th starter and his stuff isnt enough to make me thing anything has changed. Lack of strikeout stuff and a FIP much higher than the ERA.

        He’s fine depth in AAA in case everyone gets hurt at once, but he’s never really been even Locke decent.

    • He might be a ltitle better than Bastardo.

      • Bastardo in June: .84 ERA, 10 K, 1 BB, .158 Avg, .66 WHIP, 1.49 FIP, 3.59 xFIP

        Bastardo aint out best option, but he’s now around his career overall type levels and has value. I dont really see a reason why Richard would be better.

      • Bastardo has now had 8 straight excellent outings, and in increasingly critical spots. He also has a better history than Richard. Bastardo, for all his early struggles, may turn out to be one of Neal’s better off season adds, even considering the $3.3 million bill.

  • No clue how anyone can be confident a guy with a AAA K-rate of 10% can actually be a quality Major League starter.

    • His 59% ground ball rate is appealing.

    • Yet somehow he keeps getting batters out in AAA. I’ll agree it makes it more difficult for him, but we’re talking about SP depth option, not top, or even middle of the rotation option.

    • Mark Buerhle has a nice career. Even Mike Pelfrey put accumulated 9.4 WAR with Mets over 150 starts (1.9 WAR/year) with K rates in the 4-5 range.

      IMO, Clayton could certainly be as valuable as Pelfrey. Which means he doesn’t likely have a place here, but certainly of interest to a rebuilding club needing affordable innings-eaters.

      Of course you also have Chris Young. Different kind of pitcher (low K and low GB%). Likely the top example of the bumblebee principle (shouldn’t be able to fly). You can’t explain every outcome from a stat sheet. There are exceptions.

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