San Diego Padres Have High Hopes For Their Starters in 2018

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 16: Clayton Richard
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 16: Clayton Richard /
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CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 19: Starting pitcher Clayton Richard
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 19: Starting pitcher Clayton Richard /

What Clayton Richard has done for the San Diego Padres, and what’s to be expected in 2018

Clayton Richard was originally acquired by the San Diego Padres in the Jake Peavy trade in 2009. After leaving via free agency after the 2013 season Richard bounced around the majors for a couple of years.

Since returning to the Padres after being released by the Chicago Cubs in August 2016, Richard has rightfully earned his place atop the Friars starting rotation.

Since coming back to the San Diego Padres, Clayton Richard has been a dependable, effective stalwart in the Padres rotation. Richard made only nine starts after being picked up by the Padres in 2016. Over 53 2/3 IP Richard pitched to a 3-3 record with a 2.52 ERA.

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This was a huge improvement over the 6.43 ERA he posted out of the bullpen for the Cubs that year, up until he was released.

Though Clayton Richard’s K/BB ratio (1.42) and WHIP (1.53) after coming to the Padres were not impeccable, he improved in every facet in 2017.

His 8-15 record and 4.79 ERA don’t give a very rosy summary of Richard’s 2017 season. But even though his 240 hits allowed was the most in the NL, his groundball rate of 58% was among the league’s best.

Clayton Richard Stands To Benefit From San Diego Padres Additions

On the surface, Clayton Richard’s stats might not be so impressive. But considering that the San Diego Padres were not a very good team last year, the season Richard put together really wasn’t all that bad.

Delve a little deeper into his numbers from last year and you’ll see the incredible strides he took in improving his game. Clayton Richard’s statistics stand to improve a great deal with the offseason acquisition of Freddy Galvis and the pristine fielding skills of up-and-comer Carlos Asuaje. His penchant for inducing groundballs should play well with the upgraded Friars defense.

If he can improve, as he’s done consistently throughout his career, and take advantage of the increase in talent in comparison to last year’s team, Clayton Richard could be an unexpected force for the San Diego Padres this season.