Mater Dei High School graduate Trevor Richards has been recalled by the Miami Marlins and will make his major league debut against the Boston Red Sox on Monday.
The 24-year-old right-hander will face Boston left-hander Brian Johnson, who will be making his first start of the season. Richards' family and coaches from Drury University in Springfield, Mo., are making the trip to south Florida to support him.
Richards has risen quickly through the Marlins' minor-league ranks since being signed away from the Gateway Grizzlies in July 2016.
Despite being sidelined early with allergies, he had a standout spring training for the Marlins. In 12 Grapefruit League innings, Richards allowed just one earned run with nine strikeouts and twice outpitched National League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.
His big-league promotion was necessary because Monday's planned starter against the Red Sox, was forced into long relief for the Marlins' 17-inning win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Last season, Richards was 12-11 with a 2.53 ERA while playing in Jupiter and Jacksonville. He also had a career-best 158 strikeouts.
Richards drew little interest from college recruiters out of Mater Dei, despite his .475 batting average and 1.07 ERA as a senior in 2011. The culprits were a fastball that barely broke 80 mph and the lack of a breaking pitch he could consistently throw for strikes.
Drury coach Scott Nasby told the Belleville News-Democrat last July that it was a big-league quality changeup that made Richards successful in college and an additional 10 mph on his fastball that took him to the next level. Richards also has worked to develop his slider.
Richards was the Marlins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2017 when he was 12-11 with a 2.53 ERA in 27 games, 25 of them starts, between High-Class A and Double-A. He walked 30 and struck out 158 in 146 innings, allowing six homers and a .218 average.
The Marlins designated right-handed reliever Brian Ellington for assignment and optioned outfielder Braxton Lee to Triple-A New Orleans.