Clayton Richard placed on disabled list with shoulder strain

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The Padres placed left-hander Clayton Richard on the disabled list today with a left shoulder strain, one day after he was pulled from his start against the Giants after five shutout innings.

As Richard told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune this evening, he’s confident he won’t have to miss significant time.

“It feels better today,” said Richard, who has never been on the disabled list before. “I’ve never been hurt before,” he added.

“It works out with the timetable available to us with the All-Star break. They’re just going to shut me down and left the inflammation calm down.”

There are no immediate plans for Richard to undergo an MRI on the shoulder. He’s eligible to return from the disabled list on July 20 against the Marlins, which falls during the second series following the All-Star break.

Richard, 27, is 5-9 with a 3.88 ERA across 19 starts this season. He has a 2.30 ERA at home compared to a 5.30 ERA on the road. Ah yes, PETCO Park is pretty nice place to hang your hat.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.