Garrett Richards Isn’t Broken

By MJ Lloyd

Garrett Richards left his last start in Triple-A on Tuesday with a knee injury. That’s what pitchers get for trying to cover first base. Stay on your mound! Luckily, the injury doesn’t appear to be serious and Richards is expected to make his next start.

Richards was sent back to glorious Triple-A Salt Lake in order to add David Carpenter to a jaw-clenching, white-knuckling bullpen. But the 24-year-old rookie might not be on the farm for too long since Ervin Santana can’t stop giving up bombs like he’s auditioning to pitch in next year’s Home Run Derby.

Santana only gave up 2 homers in his last start in 6 innings and is, surprising to me, only tied with Phil Hughes and Jason Vargas for the most allowed this season at 26. Perhaps my favorite Santana stat is that he’s exactly as bad as his 5.83 ERA suggests according to his identical 5.83 FIP (fielding independent pitching). I tend to think Santana’s struggles are injury related. He might be dealing with a severe case of whiplash from watching all of those home runs fly behind him.

Richards is passable as a 5th starter. He throws hard, occasionally hitting 98, but command isn’t exactly his thing. Richards has a 4.5 BB/9 in his 54.0 MLB innings this season. And he doesn’t really miss as many bats as he should for someone throwing so hard. But, at least, you don’t have to pencil in a pair of home runs every time he starts. I expect Richards to have Santana’s rotation spot by September or next week. Which ever comes first. I’m bad at time zones.