BRADENTON, Fla. -- Clayton Richard did his research when the Pirates invited him to Spring Training. He liked the direction the team was headed. He talked to former Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez, his teammate in San Diego, and heard nothing but good things about the coaching staff and the clubhouse atmosphere.
More than anything, Richard was intrigued by the Pirates' recent success with pitchers who had been injured or ineffective. So far, his experience working with pitching coach Ray Searage and special assistant Jim Benedict has validated the high praise.