Richard is set to make his Cubs debut immediately, stepping in for the injured Tsuyoshi Wada for the Cubs game against the Miami Marlins Saturday evening. Two months after joining the Indianapolis Indians, the McCutcheon graduate has been acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash consideration. He struck out just 25 over 56 innings.
A’s general manager Billy Beane went for broke last July, acquiring Jon Lester from the Red Sox and Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs for the stretch run.
Thursday night, as the clock ticked on the Pirates’ window to make a move, Richard said he felt prepared to face big-league hitters and help “in whatever capacity I’m needed”, including pitching out of the bullpen. He had an “upward mobility” clause from his contract which gave the Pirates a three-day period to offer him to other clubs or place him on the active roster before he can be kept on the Triple-A roster.
Richard may be a stop-gap – a temporary answer to their problem, but if he is able to have some of the same successes he had with San Diego, he could be a big find.
“It’s kind of always been a dream growing up, watching them on TV”, Richard said of pitching for the Cubs. A lot of people get to watch and are excited to watch.
Richard is 46-47 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.398 WHIP over parts of six big-league seasons.
At 31 and with two major shoulder surgeries to his name, there are plenty of questions surrounding Richard.
My last start [in spring training] was one of the first I didn’t think about mechanics.
While with the Indians, Richard posted a 4-2 record with a 2.09 ERA.
The White Sox drafted Richard in the eighth round of the 2005 draft out of Michigan. With the Cubs, he’ll be reunited with ex- Padres teammates Anthony Rizzo and Chris Denorfia. Before going down in July of 2013, Richard was 2-5 with a 7.01 ERA that season. That being said, he is very excited about the opportunity that the Cubs are giving him and he is ready to prove himself to be a legitimate starter.
“But, of course, I’m not in control of that”, he said.