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.