LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – It only took three pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers for Clayton Richard to realize something was wrong with his left shoulder, a lot has changed since then as Richard tries to regain his strength and return to the big leagues.
“It was tough warming up and my shoulder didn’t feel good and then when I got on the mound and it really got to the point where I couldn’t throw anymore. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to pitch so there was no point in me hanging out on the mound. I mean those things happen especially in this profession and you have to deal with it and try to get through it,” said Richard.
Richard is no longer a Padre, having elected free agency when the team attempted to obtain his waivers last October. Now he must prove himself all over again.
“You just realize how fleeting this opportunity is and it will be here one day and gone the next. Moving forward I’m just going to enjoy every second of it. I’m going to come out here and whether it’s running or throwing or whatever it is I’m going to have fun doing it and I couldn’t be happier doing it,” said Richard.
While he’s still not ready to work out for major league teams, Richard is excited to be back on a throwing program.
“Without a doubt, it’s been so long since I was able to do baseball activities, there have been so many days inside in the gym trying to strengthen and stabilize the shoulder and everything that goes into it with rehab and getting everything healthy that it’s fun to finally grab a ball and put on a glove and go out and play,” said Richard.
It’s safe to say that Richard has learned a lot about himself in the 13 months he’s spent away from major league baseball.