The Red Sox newest one-two punch in their remade pitching staff, Matt Andriese, and Garrett Richards have something in common. Each spent a summer with the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod Baseball League!
Richards, a product of Edmond, Oklahoma spent the 2007 summer at picturesque Lowell Park. Andriese followed 3 years later. Both played for Coach Mike Roberts.
Richards had just finished his freshman year at the University of Oklahoma in 2007 where he was utilized as a closer, amassing 9 saves. While in Cotuit the tall righty appeared in 15 games, received credit for 2 saves, and hurled a total of 28.1 innings while finishing with a record of 1-1.
“Garrett was one of the top 5 most talented pitchers in my era to take the mound for the Kettleers. And that year was kind of special as we had six pitchers on the 2007 team who have played in MLB.” explained Coach Roberts.
Richards possessed that lively arm with a mid 90’s fastball, a slider, and a curve to go with it. Strangely he didn’t add the change up despite all the efforts of Roberts who is known to preach “change-up” to all pitching prospects.
“I still don’t throw a change-up. I’ve tried it all and just haven’t been able to make it work. That’s one pitch I wish I would’ve learned to throw when I was younger. Coach Roberts tried like hell!” said Richards as he recalled his many 2007 bullpen sessions in Cotuit.
If there was one game or one moment that the Oklahoma native still remembers vividly it was “watching Robert Stock (Southern Cal) close out a game for the first time after catching the whole game. I hadn’t seen that at the college level. Thought it was pretty cool.”
Looking back the tall Oklahoman still has pleasant memories of his time on the Cape. “Honestly it was a bit like the movie Summer Catch in some ways. I loved seeing the different style houses, it’s so beautiful there,” stated Richards. “I remember the guys that I played with and the relationships I made and still have to this day.”
Drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2009 draft, Richards gives much credit to his Cape experience for being selected with the 42nd overall pick, “As far as the draft goes I think the Cape had a huge impact. Playing against the best players in the country really forces you to get better and develop. Not to mention the exposure.” explained the tall right-handed pitcher.
And after spending time with the Angels and San Diego Padres, the 32-year-old Richards signed a one-year, $10 million dollar contract with the Red Sox this past winter. The former Kettleers is anxious to pitch at historic Fenway Park. “I couldn’t be more excited to get this stage of my career started with the Red Sox. The history and winning tradition were a big reason I wanted to play for them. Also can’t wait to be around the awesome fans!”
Kettleers Korner will be anything and everything that might interest fans, past and present, about the Kettleers. Roy Reiss, who started his career working for Curt Gowdy Broadcasting, was a former sportscaster on Channel 7 and several radio stations in Boston. His son Mike now covers the Patriots for ESPN.