A reader asked on Twitter last night what the Pirates ought to do with Indianapolis pitcher Clayton Richard. My answer: not much.
Here's why the question is coming up now. Yesterday, a clause in Richard's contract went into effect in which the Pirates have to give other teams the opportunity to add Richard to their 25-man rosters. If another team wants to add Richard within 72 hours, the Pirates must either work out a deal to send Richard to that team, or add Richard to their own 25-man. If no other team wants to add Richard to its roster, the Pirates can just keep him at Indianapolis.
My guess is that no other team will want to add Richard, but if someone does, the Pirates should let him go. Richard's track record at the big-league level isn't that interesting, particularly given that he's done most of his pitching in San Diego, and his performance at Indianapolis this year is even less so. His ERA there (2.09) is shiny, but minor-league ERAs aren't that helpful in telling us how a pitcher will perform in the big leagues. Instead, I'd look at his 25 strikeouts in 56 innings, which strongly suggest he isn't likely to help. Of course there's the possibility that the Bucs will need him for a spot start at some point and he'll do well, but I wouldn't bet on it. Meanwhile, the Pirates' pitching staff is firing on all cylinders right now, and there are plenty of pitchers of various types succeeding in Triple-A. There isn't any reason for the Bucs to force a player onto their roster if he isn't likely to be good.