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9/12/1983 (33 y, 5 m, 14 d)
2005 June Amateur Draft - Round: 8, Pick: 15, Overall: 245, Team: Chicago White Sox
$1.8M / 1 Years (2017)
Richard (finger) threw a bullpen session Saturday, his first since fouling a ball off his finger, Bill Center of MLB.com reports. (2/25/2017)
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Taylor Jungmann & Clayton Richard: Deep League Wir»
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Chad Young (RotoGraphs)
NL Starting Pitcher Tiered Rankings
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Richard spent most of last season with the Chicago White Sox before heading west in the Jake Peavy deal. He’s a ground-ball-inducing lefty featuring a low-90s fastball, slider, cutter, and change-up. His home-run rates the past two seasons are an identical 10.9% and Richard saw his normally fantastic control lose luster with an increase of nearly two full walks per nine. His strikeout rate also went up, which is to be expected when moving to the NL. Worth noting is that Richard was actually worse with the Padres, although the sample size is too small to make anything of it.
The Year Ahead:
Richard figures to at least open the season in the rotation. Given his ballpark and ground-ball tendencies it’s not a stretch to see Richard with a nice-looking ERA. After all, PETCO is notorious for limiting home runs, and right now that seems to be the one thing holding Richard back more than anything. Assuming he gets his control right and the Padres field a competent ballclub, Richard looks like a decent sleeper pick with the chance to improve on his 5-2 Pads record and 4.08 ERA. The off-season addition of Jon Garland pushes Richard down the depth chart and he’ll have to hold off the likes of Aaron Poreda, Tim Stauffer, and Wade LeBlanc. (R.J. Anderson)
The prime player picked up in the July 2009 Jake Peavy trade, Richard topped 200 innings pitched with a 3.75 ERA and a nearly identical 3.81 FIP. The 6-foot-5, 240 pound lefty isn't a power arm, sitting mostly 91-92 MPH with his fastball and striking out slightly fewer batters per nine innings (6.83) than the 7.13 MLB average. And his control isn't Cliff Lee-esque, as Richard walked 3.48 hitters per nine (that includes six intentional walks; without them, his BB/9 drops to 3.21). But, blend those decent K/BB numbers with a few more grounders than most (46.1 GB%), put 'em in PETCO, and you've got an asset. Richard might not strand quite as many runners next year -- his 74.9% left on base rate was 3-5 percentage points above the big-league average -- and his 7.7% HR/FB rate might increase slightly, though not drastically, as many PETCO flies die at the warning track. Whether he takes another step forward in 2011 depends upon his ability to limit walks against right-handers. During his Major League career, he has a 2.87 FIP and a 3.21 K/BB versus lefties, and a 4.58 FIP with a 1.53 K/BB against right-handers. (David Golebiewski)
The Quick Opinion:
A good pitcher benefiting from great circumstances, Richard is locked into San Diego's rotation. He's a good bet for a high-threes to low-fours ERA next season, though ideally he'd find the strike zone more often against righties.
In his first full Major League season (2009), Clayton Richard struggled with his control and gave up too many home runs. The next year he earned a mid-season trade to San Diego, giving him a chance to pitch in a far less homer-friendly park. Sure enough, he allowed fewer home runs since the move west, and he is actually giving up fewer walks, but his strikeouts have fallen off a cliff. Last year, Richard managed an ERA below 4.00 despite striking out less than five hitters per nine innings, thanks in large part to a significant home-road split. The lack of strikeouts significantly hurt his fantasy value, but as a back-of the-rotation option used only in home games, Richard is usable. He had a 3.34 FIP at Petco last year, with a 1.11 WHIP. He won't win a ton a of games with that offense, nor will he get many strikeouts, but he will provide half a season worth of solid rate stats, as long as he is a Padre. (Chad Young)
The Quick Opinion:
At first glance, Clayton Richard does not appear worth owning in fantasy leagues, but PetCo has a way of making mediocre pitchers look good. In deeper leagues where you can use a guy like Richard only in home games, he will provide good rate stats.
When Richard was dealt from the White Sox to the Padres midway through the 2009 season, it marked a turning point in the now 29-year old lefty's career, both in reality and in fantasy. While his strikeouts may be virtually non-existent these days (4.40 strikeouts per nine in 2012), Richard has proven that he has solid value when he pitches at home. Over the last three years, he's posted a 2.94 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP over 39 starts at Petco Park, giving him a decent value in leagues where you can easily sub him in and out of your rotation. He doesn't miss a lot of bats, but as a strong ground-ball pitcher, he gets by just fine, especially when the dimensions of his home park help keep his home run per fly ball rate to a mark of less than 10% (league average). On the road, it's a much different story as he owns a 4.73 ERA with a 1.51 WHIP and a HR/FB that sits well north of 15%. If you can freely move players in and out of your lineup on a daily basis, then Richard is actually a great low-cost option for help with the ratios. He won't get you much in the way of wins or strikeouts, but half a season's worth of solid rate stats isn't too bad considering he'll probably be a final round pick or a $1 flier at the end of your auction. And, as a lefty, the fence changes in right field may not be as big a deal as they would be for righties. (Howard Bender)
The Quick Opinion:
Richard is proof-positive that Petco Park can make even the most average starting pitchers look good. Though he doesn't miss many bats, his ground-ball rates and the dimensions of his home park give him a bit of fantasy value in NL-only and deeper mixed leagues, provided you can use him for just his home starts. If it's strikeouts that you need, then move along.
Southpaw Clayton Richard remains a free agent after being outrighted by the Padres at the conclusion of ‘13. Richard showed career lows in ERA (7.01), strikeout rate (10%) and swinging strike rate (5%) before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery
to prevent future issues with an AC joint
. He is only now turning 31, meaning if he’s able to bounce back from this injury and find himself a team, he could turn out to be a servicable starter. Fantasy owners should look elsewhere for a late-round flier. (Alan Harrison)
Clayton Richard was almost out of baseball after back-to-back shoulder and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgeries in 2013 and 2014, respectively. After bouncing between the minor league systems of the Diamondbacks and Pirates during late 2014 and early 2015, he was traded to the Cubs, where he performed swingman duties during the second half of the 2015 season. Already a sinker centric left-handed pitcher, Richard went with even more of a fastball heavy approach in 2015, throwing over 80% hard pitches and showing improved vertical movement on his trademark sinker. Because he lacks swing and miss stuff, he operates heavily in the zone, keeping his walk rate down and inducing a high rate of ground balls. He'll presumably slot into a similar role as last year, providing a few holds and rare spot starts with little strikeout upside. (Owen Watson)
The Quick Opinion:
Following a cascade of shoulder surgeries that cost him over a season and a half between 2013 and 2014, Richard found a job as a spot starter and middle reliever for the Cubs in 2015, pitching well enough to earn a new one-year contract with the club for 2016. As a pitch to contact, sinker dependent pitcher, Richard won't contribute much fantasy wise, outside of a rare low ceiling spot start or for deep league holds.
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Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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