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 either 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)