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Garrett Richards has a damaged UCL

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Angels starter Garrett Richards left last night’s start against the Mariners after experiencing right forearm irritation, accompanied by a significant loss in velocity. He underwent an MRI today and the results were not good: he has a partially-damaged ulnar collateral ligament.

That is often a one-way ticket to Tommy John Town. But not always. Indeed, Richards himself had this same sort of injury a couple of years ago but opted instead to undergo stem cell replacement therapy, avoiding the knife. It worked to a point in that he did come back and has, when he has been healthy, pitched effectively, but he has suffered other injuries since, limiting him to 28 starts over the past three seasons combined. If Richards were to have that reconstructive elbow procedure, he’d miss the rest of the 2018 season and most if not all of the 2019 campaign. Horrible timing for him considering he’s a free agent following this season.

Richards has a 3.66 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 87/34 in 76.1 innings across 16 starts in 2018.

Rob Manfred to get a five-year contract extension today

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The owners meetings are going on down in Atlanta this week. Unlike a lot of gatherings of baseball dignitaries, we tend not to get much news out of them, however. We know the owners do things like light cigars with $100 bills and, I dunno, play games of chess on human-sized chess boards with lower-level front office employees as the game pieces, but otherwise they tend to be quiet events.

There will be some news out of Atlanta later this morning, though: Commissioner Rob Manfred will be given a five-year contract extension. The vote, Bob Nightengale reports, is expected to be unanimous.

Manfred, 60, has held the job since January 2015. Major League Baseball has achieved record revenues during his tenure and his team landed a very owner-friendly Collective Bargaining Agreement on his watch. In light of that there was zero question that he was going to be re-upped.