San Diego Padres LHP Clayton Richard will not return in 2018.
San Diego Padres fans have seen the last of Opening Day starting pitcher, Clayton Richard. Earlier this afternoon, the Padres announced that Richard has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with knee inflammation.
The 34-year-old starting pitcher (turns 35 in a few days) ends his year with a 7-11 record and a 5.33 earned run average. That mark is one of the highest ERA’s of his career and is two runs higher than his 2016 ERA of 3.33 (with the Cubs and Padres).
Richard set a career-low in opponent’s batting average (.260) but an increased walk rate (8.8%) and decreased strikeout rate (15.8%) didn’t help his cause in keeping runs off the scoreboard. Once runners reached base, Richard struggled to keep them stranded. The problem became even worse during the second half of the season.
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It was only a matter of time before the Padres found some reason to put Richard on the disabled list. Since the All-Star break, Richard was winless, posting an 8.57 ERA and was struggling to strikeout out four hitters/nine innings. Opposing hitters were hitting nearly 50 points higher against him and had eight home runs in just 34 innings of work.
Richard still has one year and $3 million on his contract remaining, meaning he is more than likely going to return to the starting rotation next year. The organization loves his clubhouse leadership and ability to mentor the young pitchers coming up through the system. With 2019 appearing to be another season of growth and development, expect the Padres to continue to utilize Richard’s leadership abilities.
Richard’s last victory came on June 22nd against the San Francisco Giants and he made it past the fifth inning in just one start since his July 13th outing against the Chicago Cubs. It was a tough end to the year for Clayton Richard but a necessary end to 2018.
Colten Brewer was added to the roster in Richard’s place.