The Pittsburgh Pirates have made three moves today, bringing up players from Extended Spring Training. The big move is the debut of Clayton Richard, who will get the start for Bradenton tonight. He has been pitching in Extended Spring Training since the start of the season. In other moves, Jeff Inman has joined the Altoona Curve roster, while Colten Brewer is headed to West Virginia for tonight’s game.
Richard has been working on new mechanics to help him get back to where he was in the past. We had an article about those mechanics here and his work with Jim Benedict. The 6’5″ lefty has pitched over 200 innings in a season twice in the Majors and he had three straight seasons with the Padres in which he posted a sub-4.00 ERA from 2010-12.
Inman hasn’t pitched this year and has missed a lot of time during his career with various injuries. When he is healthy, he has shown some above average stuff, including a mid-90’s fastball. Since being drafted in 2009, he has pitched a total of 151.2 innings and has appeared in the Altoona bullpen each of the last three seasons.
Brewer is another one that has barely pitched since he was drafted and he spent most of last year on the restricted list. Since being drafted in the fourth round in 2011, he has thrown 38.2 innings and hasn’t pitched a regular season game since June 2013.
Both Brewer and Inman were high-priced signings, with Inman getting $425K and Brewer signed for $240K.
To make room on each roster, Tyler Sample(Altoona) and Erich Dorsch were assigned to the West Virginia(Morgantown) Black Bears roster, which means they could both still be around and rejoin the team at any time.
No corresponding move has been announced for Richard yet.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
John, How do you rate Clayton Richard versus the other healthy depth options such as Casey Sadler, Adrian Sampson or even Charlie Morton I suppose? I presume that when Morton is ready he goes into the Pirates rotation and Worley goes to the bullpen and either Scahill goes down or Liz. But how good is Richard, and does he go to the head of the line of depth, or does he even replace Locke in the starting rotation?