Richard Jesus Salazar da Silva
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 200 lb.
- School Miami Dade College
Richard Salazar has pitched as high as AAA.
Salazar was picked by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 2001 amateur draft. In his pro debut, he saw action with the GCL Orioles (0 R in 2 IP) and Bluefield Orioles (1-0, 2 R in 4 2/3 IP). He was a LOOGY for the 2001-2002 Tiburones de La Guaira, going 1-1 with a save and a 5.93 ERA in 13 2/3 IP over 21 games. In 2002, the young lefty was with Bluefield (1-0, 1 R in 11 IP, 15 K) and the Bowie Baysox (4.32 ERA in 8 G, 15 BB, 19 K in 16 2/3 IP). He was 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA in winter ball for the Tiburones. In '03, Salazar pitched for the Delmarva Shorebirds (5-3, 3 Sv, 1.85, 65 K in 63 1/3 IP, only 44 hits) and Frederick Keys (11 R in 8 2/3 IP). With La Guaira, he was 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in 11 innings over 17 games. He went 1-3 with 8 saves and a 1.65 ERA in 2004 for Venoco 2, an unusual Venezuelan Summer League stop for a 4th-year player.
In the winter of 2004-2005, Salazar was 2-1 with a save and a 7.13 ERA for the Tiburones, making 35 appearances that totaled just 17 2/3 IP. He led the Venezuelan League in appearances, 5 more than anyone else. He spent part of 2005 with the Shorebirds (1-0, 6 R in 4 IP) and Keys (2-1, 4.47 in 23 G, 27 BB in 44 1/3 IP), missing time when he was suspended for a positive test for banned substances. In the winter, he went 0-2 with a 4.90 ERA in 29 G (15 IP). He tied Victor Moreno for fifth in the league in appearances on the hill.
Richard split the summer of 2006 between Frederick (1-5, Sv, 3.60 in 36 G) and the Bowie Baysox (3 R in 5 1/3 IP). The La Guaira left-handed specialist pitched 40 games in 2006-2007 with just 18 IP; he was 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He again led the Venezuelan League in appearances, 7 ahead of runner-up Gerardo Casadiego. In '07, he pitched for Frederick (4-0, 2 Sv, 3.35 in 35 G), Bowie (8 R, 4 ER in 6 1/3 IP) and the Norfolk Tides (1-0, 10 R in 7 2/3 IP). That winter, he was 4-2 with a 2.75 ERA in 37 games for the Tiburones, walking 15 in 19 2/3 IP but allowing just 10 hits. He tied Jose Mijares for the league lead in games pitched, his third time leading the league in five seasons. From 2003-2008, his 158 appearances led the Venezuelan League, 19 ahead of Francisco Butto.
The Caracas native moved to the independent leagues with the 2008 Wichita Wingnuts (5-7, 3.57). In 2008-2009, he was 1-0 with a 7.87 ERA for La Guaira, working only 8 innings in 26 games. He spent 2009 between Wichita and the Shreveport-Bossier Captains (5-1, 3 Sv, 3.16 in 32 G overall). He pitched just four games for the 2009-2010 Tiburones, allowing 3 runs (one earned) in one inning on two hits and two walks. In '10, he had a strong year for the Captains at 10-4, 3.78. He tied for fifth in the American Association in wins and was 7th in ERA.
Salazar allowed 9 hits and 10 runs (9 earned) in 2 2/3 IP for the 2010-2011 Navegantes del Magallanes. The next summer, he was with the Captains and Sioux City Explorers, with a combined record of 7-6, 4.48. He allowed 168 hits, 8 shy of AA leader Reid Santos. In 2011-2012, the veteran was 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA for the Caribes de Anzoategui. He was 8-7 with a 4.08 ERA for the Explorers in 2012. His 238 Venezuelan League outings from 2001-2012 were fourth-most in the league behind Moreno, Butto and Elio Serrano.
Richard pitched for the Spanish national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, starting their first game with Israel. He battled Justin Schumer through five shutout innings but faded in the 6th, allowing a homer to Nate Freiman after Ben Guez reached on an error. Salazar ended that inning then was relieved by Sammy De Los Santos to open the 7th; he got the decision in a 4-2 loss. He allowed 13 hits and 7 runs in 7 2/3 IP that winter for the Caribes. He was Spain's top hurler in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Relieving Sergio Perez in the 3rd with a 3-0 deficit, one on and no outs against eventual runner-up Puerto Rico, he threw five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and one walk.
Back with Sioux City that summer, he had a 10-3, 3.86 record, tying for third in the American Association in wins. He was 1-1 with a save and a 4.23 ERA in 29 games for the 2013-2014 Caribes. He tied for fifth in the league in games pitched. In 2014, he moved to the Rockland Boulders and was 10-5 with a 3.72 ERA and only 24 walks in 109 innings. He led the Canadian-American Association in wins and was 6th with 89 strikeouts (between Kyle Regnault and Stephen Harrold) and 6th in ERA (between Karl Gelinas and Isaac Pavlik. He had a 0-1, 2.19 record in 21 games in winter ball. He allowed one hit and one walk in one inning in the 2015 Caribbean Series and was charged with no runs, though he allowed a three-run double to Frederich Cepeda after entering with the bases loaded. In the summer of 2015, he was even better for Rockland: 11-4, 3.15. He tied Ryan Bollinger for second in the Can-Am in wins, one behind Andrew Werner. His 100 strikeouts tied Brian Ernst and Matt Rusch for 5th and 6th in ERA (between Rusch and Charlie Gillies).
With the 2015-2016 Caribes, he struggled (5 H, 2 BB, 6 R, 3 ER in 1 1/3 IP). Getting the start against France in the 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he struggled badly in a loss to Leonel Cespedes. He gave up five first-inning hits (to Felix Brown, Frédéric Hanvi, Andy Paz, Ernesto Martinez and fellow Venezuelan Douglas Rodriguez) and three runs before Rogelio Armenteros took over in the second, a far cry from his work for Spain in 2013. Back with the Boulders in 2016, he shook off his winter blues, going 10-6 with a 3.32 ERA. He tied Jasvir Rakkar and Daniel Cordero for the win lead; he had now led the league twice in three years and finished second the other time. He was also 4th with 104 Ks (between Bollinger and Austin Chrismon) and 9th in ERA (between David Fischer and Matt Parish).
He was 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA for the 2016-2017 Caribes; the LOOGY worked 14 2/3 IP spread over 30 games. That put him into the Venezuelan League career top 10 in games pitched at 337, 9th place, between Francisco Butto and Jose Solarte. His 5.00 ERA, though, was highest of anyone in the top 30 in games pitched (Lino Urdaneta was next at 4.76) and his 218 innings were well below anyone else in the top 10 (Butto was next at 349 1/3); no one else in the top 25 had under 300 innings, in fact.
Salazar was 5-3 with a 3.53 ERA for Rockland in 2017 before retiring.
- Baseball America
- Article on Salazar's suspension
- Pelota Binaria
- 2015 Caribbean Series
- Canadian-American League
- World Baseball Classic