Richard Lovelady had stops in Kansas City and Atlanta before getting an opportunity with the A’s in mid-April. His first month and a half of the season was impressive, but he struggled down the stretch and an arm injury finally ended his season.
Lovelady was acquired by the Braves from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations on March 30. He was claimed off waivers from Atlanta by Oakland on April 13.
2023 was a night-and-day story for Lovelady. He didn’t give up an earned run in six appearances in April, and he earned a 3.38 ERA, a .114 opponent batting average, and 12 strikeouts in 10.2 innings in May. June is where everything went south. In his six appearances before straining his forearm, Lovelady had a 10.38 ERA. Lovelady appeared three more times in July after his injury list stint only to be put back on the 15-day IL and 60-day IL to end his 2023 season.
What went right? What went wrong?
Looking deeper into Lovelady’s disparity of a season, he was at his best when he was missing barrels at a high rate. Lovelady had a five-inning, six-appearance streak in mid-May where he struck out nine hitters and gave up just a run. When Lovelady struggled in June, his command and walk numbers were by far the worst of his season. The arm injury likely played a part in his struggles. He returned from what was called a forearm strain in just a few weeks, which isn’t typical for that type of injury. He never looked right after the return and quickly found himself back on the injured list to end the season.
Lovelady was outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency in November. He will be heading into his age-28 season in 2024. The question with him is whether or not he is healthy. If he is, then he probably showed enough during his stint with the A’s before the first injury to get another opportunity somewhere.