The Rays optioned Richards to Triple-A Durham on Thursday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Tampa Bay's decision to demote Richards and Anthony Banda to Triple-A likely puts Jalen Beeks in line to crack the Rays' Opening Day roster as a long man out of the bullpen. After coming over from the Marlins in a deadline deal last July, Richards made seven appearances for the Rays, posting a 1.93 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 24:5 K:BB in 23.1 innings.
Richards could be part of a revolving group of "sixth starters" during the regular season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Topkin adds Jalen Beeks and Brendan McKay as two other members of the staff that could fill similar roles in 2020 as the Rays look to manage the workloads of top three starters Charlie Morton, Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow carefully. The Rays reportedly may not use as many "bullpen days" as they have the last two seasons, either, but Richards will still likely be deployed in traditional long relief frequently due to the ability to effectively pitch multiple innings he's demonstrated over 48 career big-league starts, with three of those having come last season with the Rays after his arrival via trade from the Marlins. Richards did have a rough spring, however, posting a 7.04 ERA and 1.96 WHIP across 7.2 innings over five Grapefruit League appearances (one start).
Richards opened Saturday's 4-3 Grapefruit League loss to the Red Sox, allowing one hit and recording two strikeouts over a scoreless first inning.
Richards enjoyed a brief but successful stint with the Rays last season after arriving from the Marlins at the deadline, posting a 3-0 record and 1.93 ERA across seven appearances (three starts). With the Rays already boasting a loaded starting rotation, the 26-year-old projects for a multi-inning bullpen role this season. However, his extensive starting experience (48 career starts in 55 appearances) renders him as excellent depth in that regard should injuries strike.
Richards will start Saturday's Grapefruit League opener against the Red Sox, Steve Carney of Sports Radio 620 WDAE reports.
Richards made 30 appearances, including 23 starts, between Miami and Tampa Bay in 2019, posting a 4.06 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 127:56 K:BB in 135.1 innings. Given the Rays' starting pitching depth, Richards seems likely to open the season in a multi-inning relief role.
Richards (3-0) was credited with the win in a victory over the Angels on Saturday, working two scoreless innings during which he allowed two hits and did not record any walks or strikeouts.
Richards put together his second consecutive multi-inning scoreless outing following starter Tyler Glasnow's planned exit after three frames. The right-hander has allowed just three hits over the 4.2 innings covering his most recent pair of outings, lowering his ERA with the Rays to 2.11 in the process.
Richards (2-0) was credited with the win in a victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday, allowing one hit and recording two strikeouts over 2.2 scoreless innings.
Richards took over for starter Tyler Glasnow after two innings and ultimately was able to nab the victory as the unofficial "bulk reliever" in what was essentially a bullpen day game. Richards has largely proven effective in whichever role he's been deployed in by manager Kevin Cash thus far, and Sunday's scoreless multi-inning effort whittled down his ERA since arriving in Tampa to an impressive 2.33 across 19.1 innings.
Richards will give way to Tyler Glasnow (forearm) for Sunday's start against the Blue Jays, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Richards may still pitch Sunday, but it would be in a piggyback role after Glasnow throws two or three innings as the opener in his return from the injured list. A changeup specialist, Richards fared well as a traditional starter in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader against Baltimore, allowing two runs over five innings, and now has a 2.70 ERA and 3.99 FIP in 16.2 innings with Tampa Bay. He posted a 4.50 ERA and 4.73 FIP in 112 innings with Miami before being traded at the deadline.
Richards could make either a conventional start or work as a primary pitcher Sunday against the Blue Jays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Richards was effective in the first game of a doubleheader against the Orioles on Tuesday, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks over five innings. The right-hander has worked as both conventional starter and primary pitcher since arriving via trade from the Marlins, and it remains to be seen how he'd be deployed if he does take the hill Sunday.
Richards threw five innings and allowed two runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts Tuesday in a no-decision during a 4-2 loss to the Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader.
Richards shut out the Orioles through four innings, but was tagged for a two-run homer from Rio Ruiz in the fifth. The 26-year-old was lifted after 78 pitches, but is still off to a strong start with his new team. In four appearances with the Rays since joining the team from the Marlins, Richards has allowed five earned runs in 16.2 innings with a 19:4 K:BB. Overall, Richards is 4-12 with a 4.27 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 122 strikeouts in 128.2 innings this season.
Richards will serve as a traditional starter in the first game of a doubleheader against the Orioles on Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The right-hander worked as a primary pitcher in two of his first three appearances with the Rays after arriving via trade with the Marlins. He'll get another look as a true starter Tuesday. Richards blanked these very same Orioles on two hits over six innings back on Aug. 23, a feat he'll look to replicate in the matinee of a twin bill.
Richards did not factor into the decision against Houston on Thursday, hurling 2.1 innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks while striking out four.
Richards, working as a primary pitcher for the first time in three appearances with the Rays, entered with two Astros on base in the second inning and served up an RBI double to allow an inherited run to score. He then gave up a homer to George Springer leading off the third and got himself into trouble with a pair of walks and a throwing error in the fourth before exiting the game. Although Richards has allowed only three earned runs while striking out 15 hitters in 11.2 innings since joining Tampa Bay, the team appears determined to keep his pitch count low as he has averaged a mere 72.3 pitches in his three outings. His next appearance is scheduled for Tuesday against Baltimore, though it remains to be seen whether he'll work behind an opener or as a traditional starter.
Richards will work behind an opener Thursday against the Astros, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Richards worked as a traditional starter in his first two outings with the Rays, but he'll follow Andrew Kittredge in Thursday's contest. Richards has allowed two runs on 10 hits with a 14:4 K:BB over his last 12.1 innings.
Richards (4-12) tossed six shutout innings while allowing two hits and one walk with five strikeouts Friday, earning a victory over the Orioles.
The 26-year-old is off to a strong start with his new team. In two starts with the Rays since joining the team from the Marlins, Richards has allowed two runs in 9.1 innings. Dating back to July 26, he's given up just two runs in his last 12.1 frames. Overall, Richards is 4-12 with a 4.30 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 114 strikeouts in 121.1 innings this season.
Richards will start Friday's game at Baltimore, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Richards was called up for his debut with the Rays on Sunday and will remain on turn in the starting rotation. The 26-year-old was limited to 71 pitches in that outing as he builds back up to a starting role, so he should have a slightly higher pitch ceiling Friday. Richards has a 4.53 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 109:52: K:BB over 115.1 innings this season.
Richards allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six over 3.1 innings Sunday against the Tigers.
Richards surrendered a two-run homer in the first inning, though he was able to hold Detroit off the board for the remainder of his outing. He was lifted with 71 pitches (51 strikes), as the Rays continue to build him back up to a starting role after acquiring the right-hander from the Marlins at the end of July. The 26-year-old now owns a 4.53 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with a 109:52 K:BB over 115.1 innings this season in the majors.
Richards was recalled from Triple-A Durham and will start Sunday's game against the Tigers.
Though Richards' promotion doesn't come as a surprise, the Rays were expected to deploy him as a bulk reliever behind an opener rather than as a traditional starter in his team debut. In the aftermath of Saturday's 1-0, 13-inning win, manager Kevin Cash may have decided it was better to have Richards eat innings right away rather than calling on a member of his overtaxed bullpen to serve as an opener. In any case, Richards will likely have a restricted workload Sunday after maxing out at only 49 pitches during his three appearances with Durham following his July 31 acquisition from the Marlins.
Richards will be the bulk reliever in Sunday's game against the Tigers, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
He is with the big-league club Saturday but won't be activated until Sunday. Richards has given up one run while striking out eight over 5.1 innings in three appearances at Triple-A. He has not gone more than 2.1 innings in that span, however, so even if the primary pitcher goes one inning, Richards is not a lock to go deep enough to qualify for the win.
Richards appears on track to join the Rays for Sunday's game against the Tigers and work as a bulk reliever in that contest, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Richards had transitioned to the bullpen with the Marlins before he was dealt to the Rays on July 31, so his new organization is having him get stretched back out in the minors in preparation for an eventual starting/bulk-relief role with the big club. In his last outing with Triple-A Durham on Aug. 10, Richards built up to 49 pitches, working 2.1 innings in the appearance and giving up one run on three hits and a walk.
Richards worked up to 49 pitches over 2.1 innings in an appearance for Triple-A Durham on Saturday and could be in the midst of being groomed for a big-league role, Daniel Kramer of MLB.com reports.
Richards who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Marlins, logged just one inning in his first outing for the Bulls last Tuesday. However, he saw an appreciable bump in workload Saturday while allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk and he also struck out four. The right-hander could potentially fill a variety of roles for the Rays if he's promoted, including long reliever, opener, or even traditional starter.
Richards will join Triple-A Durham to start Sunday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Richards was converted to a bullpen role during his last week in Miami, but the Rays seemingly still view him as a starter. He should spend a fair amount of time in Tampa over the last two months once he's stretched out again.
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