Angels starter Garrett Richards left last night’s start against the Mariners after experiencing right forearm irritation, accompanied by a significant loss in velocity. That’s a pretty scary combo, so the Angels are not taking any chances with him: he’ll undergo an MRI today.
In addition to being a solid starter, whose performance is essential to the Angels’ getting back into playoff contention, Richards is probably the team’s biggest trade chip in the event it is decided that contention isn’t happening. On a personal level it’s Richards’ free agent walk year, so a serious injury would be disastrous for him and the Angels on a number of levels. Not that injuries are new to him: Richards was limited to six starts the past two seasons because of a damaged ulnar collateral ligament and a biceps issue. He avoided Tommy John surgery by getting stem-cell therapy, but the notion that Richards, while good when healthy, is a workhorse left town a long time ago.
Entering play last night Richards had a 3.42 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 15 starts over 73.2 innings. Whether there will be any more play for him this year will be known after the MRI.
The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.
Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.
The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.