The last thing anyone wants to have happen when a new season is starting is to come up with a significant injury, but that is precisely what has happened to one of last season's bright new faces making the jump all the way from Independent Baseball to the major leagues. A second player also has been shelved, at least temporarily.
Toronto's Scott Richmond, who was hoping to solidify his starting rotation job even more than the 8-11, 5.52 he posted in his first virtually full American League campaign in '09 (27 appearances, 24 starts), has gone out the window for the time being because of a shoulder impingement. Richmond, 30, has been placed on the 60-day disabled list which means the best he can hope for would be an early May return. The initial injury occurred during pre-spring training workouts.
Richmond is a true Independent find since his first three seasons after college baseball at Oklahoma State were with Edmonton when that team was the Cracker Cats of the Northern League. Edmonton has since moved to the Golden League and become the Capitals.
SWINDLE ALSO SHELVED
R. J. Swindle, the 26-year-old southpaw who has had considerable Independent experience (Schaumburg, IL, Northern League, and Newark, NJ, Atlantic League), has had his efforts to win a bullpen job with Tampa Bay at least slowed by an oblique injury suffered in his first Grapefruit League outing against the Yankees Friday.
The Rays have been cautious with their daily medical news on Swindle, but it doesn't sound great after Manager Joe Maddon told Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times on Sunday "he's not going to play for a while".
Swindle, a Boston draftee in 2004, is with his third major league team in as many years. He got into three major league games with Philadelphia in 2008 and six more with Milwaukee last season.