Richard Benefiting From Brother's Experience

CEDAR RAPIDS - Double-A Midland infielder Michael Richard gave his younger brother Myrio some sound advice prior to his first full season of professional ball with Kane County in the Midwest League: just survive the first month.

April didn't come and go without its fair share of adversity. But instead of battling the cold weather and wind his brother warned him about, Myrio Richard, Oakland's ninth-round draft pick in 2009, found himself dealing with a wrist injury that cost him nearly a week.

"He told me to get through the first month and I'd be OK," said Myrio, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound center fielder who has started out in a full-season league in his first year as a pro.

"Do what you've got to do to stay in the game. It can really get us southerners down, because we don't usually play in this stuff."

A wrist injury came at the worst possible time for Myrio, who went 5-for-14 with a pair of doubles during a three-game span from April 19-21, only to go down with the injury two days later. After pinch-running in a game on April 29, he finally returned to the Cougar lineup on May 1st in Cedar Rapids.

"When I was getting good pitches to hit I wasn't missing them," he said.

"I got good wood on fastballs and drove them gap to gap to get a lot of extra base hits. But I had to wait a few days to get back in there. It was frustrating but I took it as a blessing in disguise that I got a few days off."

However, it may take some time for Richard to get back up to speed as he endured a 1-for-12 series against the Kernels that saw his average drop to .244. Soon, he may be leaning on his brother for some advice on how to get out of the slump.

"He's my report card," Myrio said.

"Anytime I need any advice, all I have to do is look to my brother. He's already been through what I'm going through. He prepares me and tells me what I need to expect."

Michael Richard was an 11th round draft pick of the A's in 2007 and spent all of 2008 as a member of the Cougars.

The two brothers spent this past off-season together and their intense workout regimen seemed to put Myrio on the fast-track for his first full season of professional ball.

"I came into spring training ahead of the game, because my brother and I had a couple of minor leaguers pitch for us live," he said.

"We got to hit a lot of pitches and that put me ahead of the game coming in."

Richard has set some lofty goals for the 2010 season and would like to get his average up near the .300 range and steal 30 bases, along with getting a potential late-season call up to Stockton.

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