First-year veteran?

It might be too early to call him a saviour. But Scott Richmond has earned all the praise sent his way so far during the 2009 season.

Just one day removed from a weak pitching performance from David Purcey, the Toronto Blue Jays got exactly what they needed Tuesday night: a quality start. But Richmond provided more than that. The 29-year-old rookie surrendered just one run on five hits in 7.0 innings of work. He also had three walks and five strikeouts en route to improving to 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA this season.

With the win, the Blue Jays remain the only team in the majors yet to lose consecutive games this season.

Once thought to be perhaps the odd man out of the starting rotation, Richmond has essentially risen to the No. 2 position with the injuries to starters Jesse Litsch and Ricky Romero, combined with Purcey’s ineffectiveness thus far.

Coming off a loss, the Blue Jays are accustomed to having ‘the doctor’ – Roy Halladay – to pick up the pieces, righting the ship with a victory. But for the second time this year, they received the same pick-me-up from Richmond. Both were 106-pitch efforts, and both were quality starts.

Not including his mediocre season-opening contest, in which he gave up three runs in just 4.0 innings against Cleveland on April 10, Richmond has gone a perfect 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his last three starts.

These certainly aren’t numbers consistent with most rookie pitchers. But then again, Richmond is no ordinary rookie. He’s grinded his way through a career that took him to Independent ball before a return to affiliated baseball.

There’s no doubt he picked up some mental toughness along the way. That’s why he brings more of a veteran presence despite his lack of big-league time, which is a good thing for the Toronto Blue Jays. With a paper thin starting rotation, they don’t just want that veteran presence — they need it.

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4 Responses to “First-year veteran?”

  1. Dan Says:

    Dev, couldn’t help but notice you just got a little bit of a Journalism degree, maybe you might be interested in this job opportunity i stumbled across…

    You should go for it:
    http://www.corusent.com/home/Corporate/Careers/tabid/1703/Default.aspx

  2. TD Says:

    Thanks for the link Dan.

  3. Lucas Says:

    For me the thing about Richmond is that to get noticed playing in an independent league, outside of the US, you have to be really really good. Sorry I can’t offer you a job posting as well.

  4. TD Says:

    Haha. You require a job posting in order to post 😉

    Richmond is a case where it just goes to show what kind of success a guy can have when he gets elevated to the best competition there is.

    There are lots of Scott Richmonds out there. But he got the chance, and he’s taking absolute advantage of it.

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