Second Time Paid Off For Richardson

Richardson was just promoted to Staten Island

It's never fun for any player to have to repeat a minor league level. In the case of Matt Richardson, a shortstop who was converted to pitcher in high school, he feels going back for a second season with the Gulf Coast League Yankees has been a big help to his game.

"At first coming back was a disappointment," Matt Richardson admitted, "but looking at it now I definitely needed it again. I've gotten a lot better in the three weeks that the season's been going on, so I think they made the right choice of keeping me here."

Richardson is happy with the way the season is progressing and with the way he has pitched thus far.

"I've started out good so far," Richardson says. "I still need to work on a lot of things and hopefully get out of here either this year or next year," he said before being promoted on Tuesday, "but I'm happy with the way the season has been going. We have a really good team this year, so it's been fun."

Richardson relies on his curveball as his strongest pitch, but has also been working on the command of his low-90's fastball, which has developed into an additional go-to pitch for him.

"I go between my curveball and fastball, but I still need to work on my changeup a little bit," Richardson said. "It has come a long way actually, but it's still not where I want it to be."

Pitching coach Carlos Chantres agrees that Richardson's pitches have improved greatly since he came to the Yankees in 2008, and since then, Chantres has been very impressed.

"He's been lights out for us," Chantres said without hesitation. "Last year, he came in with not very good mechanics and he's been working on his off-speed pitches during extended and all that, and he's been doing very well. He's got his mechanics down to where he needs to be right now."

As for moving up to the next level, Chantres thinks that Richardson is 100 percent ready for the challenge.

"He's got to command his fastball better and his changeup needs to be ironed out as well," Chantres said, "but right now he's doing pretty good and the year's not over so he still has time to work hard."

Richardson passed up a scholarship to UCF to sign with the Yankees last year and says that he has no regrets about his decision, even after staying with the Gulf Coast League for another year. Like Richardson, Chantres was aware that it was necessary for him to stay and learn more before reaching the next level.

"He needed to be here one more year just because of last year's mechanics and the way he pitched," Chantres said. "He needed this level one more year."

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