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Clayton Richard Is An Enigma, Forces Sox to Rethink Bullpen Move

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Most of the time when I write a recap, I don't simply rehash the game's run-scoring plays or run the standard post-game player/manager quotes. I write from the point of view of an everyday fan. This can occasionally lead to some embarrassing posts in hindsight, but I suspect is the main draw of the site for most. 

I bring this up for two reasons:

  1. I don't have a good feel for this team right now. I'm lacking the proper perspective. It's been a solid two weeks since I even got to so much as listen to a White Sox game. My only real in-game interaction with the Sox came when I checked the score of the game (and my email) from a backwoods library in the middle of Iowa during the 4th inning of Buehrle's perfect game. (Sadly, I didn't notice he had something working at the time.)

    I honestly don't have any read on Ozzie or Kenny's thinking right now, and I'm not even going to try and fake it.

  2. The last time I wrote about Clayton Richard in this space I was begging for him to be pulled from the rotation. 

    For me, no baseball axiom has been reinforced more this season than Hawk's You're never as bad as you look when you're losing, and you're never as good as you look as when you're winning, which can be carried over to individual players as well.

    Clayton Richard was on life support as a starter, a placeholder until the Sox found a better option. Now he's tossed two consecutive 1-run, 8 inning outings. Richard's true talent lies somewhere in between the me calling for his head a few weeks ago and the unlikely ace who's forcing me to fight the urge to ask why he's about to be removed from the rotation.

The company line is that Bartolo Colon is headed back for the rotation. Yet somehow I think his return could be a short one. Colon has shown zero interest in pitching from the bullpen, is one cheeseburger from the DL, and has hardly earned his way back into the rotation. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see him get lit up and Richard to be slotted right back into the rotation with Colon pulling another disappearing act, or to have KW package Richard and/or Poreda in exchange for a pitcher too talented to be saddled with the 5th Starter tag.

But what do I know? I'm just a guy who watches the Sox play once every two weeks and hasn't read all the postgame quotes. 

Richard may get another start.

"Last two outings this kid has been great," Guillen said after Sunday's win over Detroit. "I've got to sit down with Kenny on the plane ride to Minnesota] and talk about it. See if we have better ideas. What we have to do to keep him in the role, give him another shot. The way he pitched the last couple games he's been great."

Guillen was then asked if Richard had changed his mind about putting him back in the bullpen.

"To me, yeah. To me," he replied. "I'm the boss of the team, the manager, but this team runs by coaches, manager and general manager. We do all things together. [Today] we should have a better idea.

"Right now it seems like we have a six-man rotation, but I don't want to do that. In the meanwhile, this kid is pitching so great, we have to sit down and talk. See what the matchups are going to be and what we need."