This could become quite the comeback. Clayton Richard has signed a Minor League deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He last pitched in a Major League game on June 21st, 2013 with the San Diego Padres. Since then, it hasn’t been an easy road for the 30-year old Richard.
After refusing a Minor League assignment last October, Richard was granted free agency. In February, he underwent surgery for a thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). According to vascularweb.org, the thoracic outlet is a small space located just behind and below your collarbone. TOS is the “presence of hand and arm symptoms due to pressure against the nerves or blood vessels in the thoracic area”. He threw for some teams over the past week, reports Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier, but according to Richard, “Arizona stuck out”. Part of the reason is Kevin Towers, who traded for him in 2009 as general manager of the Padres.
In six years, Richard is 46-47 with a 4.33 ERA. He has pitched over 200 innings in two seasons, 2010 and 2012. His best season was 2010 when he went 14-9 with a 3.75 ERA. We don’t know how long he will be in the organization but we wish him the best of luck as he attempts a comeback.