Angels “optimistic” Garrett Richards will be ready for April

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As of six weeks ago Angels manager Mike Scioscia was telling reporters that the team didn’t expect Garrett Richards back from knee surgery until May, but apparently that return timetable has changed.

General manager Jerry Dipoto told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register that the Angels are “optimistic” about Richards’ progress and believe he may be ready by Opening Day. And if not, early April is now the targeted return date.

Richards had a breakout 2014 season before tearing his left patellar tendon, logging 169 innings with a 2.61 ERA and 164/51 K/BB ratio at age 26. His rehab has advanced to throwing from 150 feet.